After UFC president Dana White announced Brock Lesnar and Junior dos Santos would serve as coaches for “The Ultimate Fighter 13,” Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker attempted to steal the heavyweight spotlight back by confirming the main bouts for his highly anticipated “Fedor vs. Silva” event.
Shane Del Rosario vs. Lavar Johnson, Chad Griggs vs. Gian Villante and Valentijn Overeem vs. Ray Sefo were all added to the February 12th fight card.
“This event will showcase the depth of talent in the Strikeforce heavyweight roster,” said Coker. “Shane and Lavar are two products of the Strikeforce Challengers series that has been instrumental in developing new talent.
“We are proud to welcome them to our championship series for the first time on February 12th and excited to show the world that Strikeforce is home to the best heavyweights on the planet.”
Although Tuesday’s press release made no mention, Coker previously confirmed the Del Rosario/Johnson scrap would serve as an alternate bout in their Heavyweight Grand Prix.
Emelianenko makes his long-awaited return to action when he faces “Bigfoot” in the card’s featured contest. The heavyweights will meet in the opening round of Strikeforce’s tournament.
Former UFC champion Andrei Arlovski will meet Sergei Kharitonov in another quarterfinals matchup inside the IZOD Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey.
Here are the fighters that will appear in the Showtime broadcast:
Ray Sefo vs Valentijn Overeem
Chad Griggs vs. Gian Villante
Eight-man Heavyweight Grand Prix (1stRound):
Alternate: Shane Del Rosario vs. Lavar Johnson
Andrei Arlovski vs. Sergei Kharitonov
Fedor Emelianenko vs. Antonio Silva