It’s no secret that Strikeforce and M-1 Global are nearing an announcement that Fedor Emelianenko is returning to the San Jose, Calif.-based promotion, and is expected to face Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva in his next fight. MMAWeekly.com reported in December that Strikeforce was trying to get that fight on its Jan. 29 fight card.
While that date didn’t come to fruition, the fight still intact and is now expected for an as of yet unannounced event on Feb. 12 at the IZOD Center in East Rutherford, N.J., as first reported by Sherdog.com. MMAWeekly.com sources on Monday concurred with the new date.
The Fedor vs. Silva match-up is expected to be part of a long-rumored Strikeforce heavyweight tournament that will take place over the course of several events. The bout will be a quarterfinal tilt of the expected eight-man tournament.
Fedor is returning to action for the first time since his loss to Fabricio Werdum in June. Since that time, Fedor has been sitting with one final fight on his current deal with Strikeforce, while the promotion negotiated with his management company at M-1 Global on an extension.
Antonio Silva is coming off a win in his last fight for Strikeforce, finishing off late replacement Mike Kyle in the second round of their heavyweight match-up. Silva had been on hiatus since May when he defeated former UFC heavyweight champion Andrei Arlovski before returning in December to finish Kyle.
Other bouts pitting Andrei Arlovski vs. Josh Barnett and Fabricio Werdum vs. Brett Rogers have been floated around as part of the heavyweight tournament, but MMAWeekly.com sources say that those bouts are not accurate and will not be part of the quarterfinal round of the tournament.
Negotiations are underway on the rest of the tournament, but no other bouts had been finalized as of Monday morning.