Fans wishing to purchase tickets for the blockbuster Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) mega-event featuring the return of legendary Fedor “The Last Emperor” Emelianenko and the kickoff of the STRIKEFORCE World Grand Prix – Heavyweight Tournament on Saturday, Feb. 12, at the IZOD Center in East Rutherford, N.J., won’t have to wait long.
Tickets go on sale to the public on Friday, Jan. 14, at 10 a.m. ET at the IZOD Center box office, online at Ticketmaster.com and Strikeforce.com and by phone at (800) 745-3000.
A three-stage, single-elimination tournament comprised of eight of the world’s top heavyweights will begin with two tremendous quarterfinal matches on Feb. 12.
In the main event, Emelianenko (31-2, 1 NC) will take on Antonio “Big Foot” Silva (15-2) in a STRIKEFORCE and M-1 GLOBAL co-promoted event. The co-feature will pit former world champion Andrei “The Pitbull” Arlovski (15-8) against Sergei Kharitonov (16-4), the last man to defeat STRIKEFORCE Heavyweight World Champion Alistair “The Demolition Man” Overeem.
The famed Fedor, 34, of Stary Oskol, Russia, will be making his first start since it was announced earlier this week that STRIKEFORCE and M-1 GLOBAL, in association with SHOWTIME®, had signed a new, multi-year agreement to co-promote events headlined by the MMA legend.
In his last fight, the 6-foot Fedor suffered a shocking upset loss to Fabricio Werdum on June 26, 2010. Until then, Fedor had manufactured an unprecedented, record-setting run of 28 consecutive victories, earning him recognition as the world’s all-time greatest pound-for-pound fighter.
Silva is a 6-foot-4, 31-year-old Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt who has won eight of his last night fights. All but two of his victories have come by knockout. Only five of his fights have gone past the first round.
Arlovski, of Minski, Belarus, is one of the most popular and recognizable fighters in the history of MMA. A hard-hitting, extremely athletic 6-feet-4, 31-year-old, he has fought and defeated some of the best since turning professional in April 1999.
A winner in four of his last five fights, the 6-foot-4, 30-year-old Kharitonov is the last man to defeat Overeem. On Sept. 17 2007, he scored a thunderous first-round KO of Overeem with a single punch in Yokohama, Kanagawa, Japan.
Kharitonov is coming off a 1:25, first-round TKO (knee) destruction of Tatsuya Mizuno this past Dec. 31 in Japan.