Andrei Arlovski gets KO’d by Sergei Kharitonov in Strikeforce Heavyweight GP

By Dave Walsh

Andrei Arlovski is a former UFC Heavyweight Champion, sure it was from an era that is not well known for UFC‘s Heavyweight division, but to question if Arlovski was “legit” or not is a bit, well, ridiculous. He reigned supreme over UFC’s division while Fedor reigned over Japan. Sergei Kharitonov has some legitimate wins from PRIDE and has competed in K-1 over the past few years, so a battle between Kharitonov vs. Arlovski is a fight that we’ve been waiting to see for a while, and it’s happening in Strikeforce.

Arlovski comes in staring down the barrel of a long, three-fight losing streak (Fedor, Rogers, Silva), while Kharitonov hasn’t faced top competition at Heavyweight in the past few years and won. Both men have a lot to prove on the world level here tonight, and this could make or break a career. Arlovski starts off strong and uses his movement and hands, but Kharitonov was patient and waited for his moment and struck, hard, swarming on Arlovski and not stopping until Arlovski was on the ground, knocked out cold.

This is Arlovski’s fourth KO loss in a row, and one has to believe that he’ll be dejected by this and there will be a lot of questions about his career.

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Pacquiao, Mosley quotes

By Chris Cozzone

The press weren’t the only ones allowed to ask questions at today’s Top Rank presser at Las VegasMGM Grand Garden Arena featuring Manny Pacquiao and “Sugar” Shane Mosley. Landing in their second of four targeted cities, Pacquiao and Mosley fielded – and weathered – a variety of comments and questions from nearly two dozen fans picked from an audience of 2,000. One woman just wanted to audition for Pacquiao to sing the Philippines national anthem on May 7, and Pacquiao accepted a CD demo from her. Another lady just wanted a photo taken with the Filipino superstar – “Pacman” obliged, having security escort her to the dais. Another guy just wanted to see if one of the Tecate girls was single.

One fan asked what motivated the two fighters to knock each other out. “I’m just there to do my job,” Pacquiao said. “If the knockout happens, it happens.” Mosley begged to differ (photo above): “Come on, Manny. You know you want to knock me out. It’s okay, I want to knock you out too.”

Other questions of note:
Q: Do you like Justin Bieber? Because your hair looks like him.
Pacquiao: “That’s a good question. I like it, but Bruce Lee is my idol.”

Q: Would you ever run for Congress?
Mosley: “I’m not sure I have that kind of talent that Manny has.”

The most controversial question came from a man who told Pacquiao, “Would you please, for everyone, just take the test?” After the audience booed him, Pacquiao, to his credit, answered: “You have to believe that my boxing skill is natural. I am strong. I do not take medicine. I’m all-natural.”

 

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Strikeforce: Fedor vs. Silva” prelim recap: Cholish, Gracie earn submission wins

By Dann Stupp

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – Following an unsuccessful stint on “The Ultimate Fighter 12,” lightweight Marc Stevens was looking to re-establish himself as a top 155-pound contender.

Opponent John Cholish had different ideas.

Cholish and Stevens met in the featured contest of the “Strikeforce and M-1 Global: Fedor vs. Silva” preliminary card, which took place at the IZOD Center in East Rutherford, N.J., and aired live on HDNet. The contests preceded the evening’s Showtime-broadcast main card.

Despite sporting a respected wrestling game, Stevens was overmatched in the grappling department from the opening bell. The Renzo Gracie-trained prospect landed a pair of takedowns in the opening round and took dominant positions each time. Stevens showed capable awareness in defense, but he was unable to threaten with any sort of counterattack.

Stevens finished the opening round trying to upkick his foe and prevent a finish, but he only delayed the inevitable.

In the second frame, Stevens showed signs of life as he worked back to the feet from an initial takedown, and he earned his own takedown by catching a kick from his foe. But after flashing impressive grappling in the opening round, Cholish turned to his jiu-jitsu skills and transitioned beautifully to a textbook kneebar setup. After a bit of adjustment, Cholish angled the appendage properly and forced the tap at the 3:57 mark.

 

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Rafael “Sapo” Natal Out of UFC on Versus 3 Fight Against Alessio Sakara

By Damon Martin

If Alessio Sakara is going to fight at UFC on Versus 3, it will be against a third opponent since he got slotted on the March card.

Renzo Gracie fighter Rafael “Sapo” Natal has been forced off the UFC on Versus 3 card against Sakara due to a knee injury suffered in training.

Sources close to the fighter confirmed his status with MMAWeekly.com on Saturday. Versus.com first reported the change.

Natal was already a replacement for original opponent Maiquel Falcao, who had to drop out of the bout due to injury, and now another fighter has fallen by the wayside. Natal apparently suffered a knee injury while training for the Sakara bout. There’s been no timetable set for his return to action.

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Strikeforce to Announce Return of Gina Carano

By Ariel Helwani

The most famous female MMA fighter is making a comeback.

Strikeforce will announce on Saturday night’s Strikeforce: Fedor vs. Silva telecast on Showtime that Gina Carano will be returning to action later this year. No exact date or opponent has been determined at this time.

Carano is at the Izod Center, site of Saturday night’s event. She will appear in front of the crowd at some point during the telecast to discuss her return.

Carano (7-1) was last seen in August 2009 losing to Cris Cyborg via first round TKO. She has not competed since then and has been very quiet

She is set to appear in her first feature film “Haywire,” which will hit theaters in April.

 

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Strikeforce: Fedor vs Silva – Quick Results

Event: Strikeforce: Fedor vs. Silva
Date: Saturday, Feb 12th, 2011
Location: Izod Center, East Rutherford, N.J.

Main Card – (On Showtime 10PM/ET)
Antonio Silva def Fedor Emelianenko via Doctor Stoppage 5:00 Rd2
Sergei Kharitonov def Andrei Arlovski via KO 2:49 Rd1
Shane Del Rosario def Lavar Johnson via Submission (Armbar) 4:31 Rd1
Chad Griggs def Gian Villante via TKO (Strikes) 2:49 Rd1
Valentijn Overeem def Ray Sefo via Submission (Neck Crank) 1:37 Rd1

Preliminary Card – (HDNet 8PM/ET)
John Cholish def Marc Stevensvia Submission (Kneebar) 3:57 Rd2
Igor Gracie def John Salgado via Submission (Arm Triangle/Side Choke) 3:04 Rd2
Sam Oropeza def Don Carlo-Clauss via Verbal Submission (Strikes) 4:10 Rd1
Josh LaBerge def Anthony Leone via Doc Stoppage (Broken Nose) 5:00 R1
Jason McLean def Kevin Roddy via Split Decision (29-28×2, 28-29)

Notes:
– For live Play-by-Play go to Sherdog.com or MMAWeekly.com
– To Check out the Weigh-In Photos and Video: Click Here
– To Check out the Weigh-In Results: Click Here
– To Check out the latest Betting Odds: Click Here

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Canadian UFC fighters ready for home-turf bouts

By Chris Doucette, QMI Agency

TORONTO — At first glance, UFC fighters appear to be average, ordinary folks.

Most also seem to be genuinely good guys, who are accessible to their fans, which is a big part of why mixed martial arts has become so wildly popular.

It’s not until you see them at work in the octagon that you realize each and every one of them is capable of beating you senseless and making you say “uncle” in a heartbeat. “It’s definitely my life right now,” says Claude Patrick of Mississauga, Ont., wiping his forehead.

“It’s my focus and my career, so I’m putting a lot into it and starting to see the results pay off.”

With beads of sweat pouring down his face after a gruelling two-hour workout with one of his trainers, K1 kick-boxing champ Michael McDonald, Patrick recently took time out to talk to QMI Agency at Elite Training Centre in the Toronto‘s west end.

He’s one of three local fighters slated to fight in UFC 129 at the Rogers Centre Apr. 30.

All told, nine Canadians are expected to be in the 11 fights that night — more than any other card in UFC history.

That includes the two main events, which will see fan favourite Georges St. Pierre, of Montreal, put his welterweight title on the line against American Jake Shields and Mark Hominick, from Thamesford, Ont., try to snatch the featherweight title from Brazilian Jose Aldo.

“I feel very fortunate,” Patrick said, adding with a smile that many “long lost friends” are suddenly calling looking for tickets.

 

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