“BIG FOOT’’ SILVA TO FACE VALENTIJN OVEREEM AT SCOTTRADE CENTER IN ST. LOUIS
SATURDAY, DEC. 4, LIVE ON SHOWTIME®
Dan Henderson To Battle “Babalu” Sobral in Main Event,
Paul Daley To Meet Scott “Hands Of Steel’’ Smith, Robbie Lawler
Takes On Matt Lindland, Herschel Walker To Make Second MMA Start
NEW YORK (Oct. 12, 2010) – Top contender and former EliteXC champion Antonio “Big Foot’’ Silva has recently been calling out the biggest names in a STRIKEFORCE heavyweight division which arguably is, top to bottom, the most talented and deepest in Mixed Martial Arts (MMA).
Silva won’t yet get the fighters he’s most often mentioned – most notably, STRIKEFORCE champion Alistair Overeem or Fedor Emelianenko. But Silva gets perhaps the next best thing when he faces Alistair’s older brother, Valentijn “The Python’’ Overeem, in one of the featured bouts on Saturday, Dec. 4, at Scottrade Center in St. Louis live on SHOWTIME® (10 p.m. ET/PT, delayed on the West Coast).
The important heavyweight matchup rounds out the televised portion of a stacked, overloaded fight card that features MMA superstar Dan Henderson (25-8) of Temecula, Calif., against former STRIKEFORCE light heavyweight world champion Renato “Babalu” Sobral (36-8) of Brazil in a collision of world-class 205-pounders in the main event.
In other fights on SHOWTIME, Paul “Semtex’’ Daley (25-9-2) of Nottingham, England, meets power puncher Scott “Hands Of Steel’ Smith (17-7, 1 NC) of Elk Grove, Calif., in a battle of explosive welterweights (170 pounds), exciting local favorite “Ruthless” Robbie Lawler (17-6, 1 NC) of Granite City, Ill., takes on 2000 Olympic Games silver medalist Matt “The Law” Lindland (22-7) of Oregon City, Ore., in a middleweight (185 pounds) scrap and football legend and unbeaten MMA fighter, the remarkable Herschel Walker (1-0), will be opposed by an opponent to be determined.
The 6-foot-4, 31-year-old Silva (14-2), of Coconut Creek, Fla., by way of Brazil, is one of the most talked-about and feared fighters in MMA. His freakish size is matched with brute strength, startling speed, incredible agility and quickness and brutal ground and pound skills. Factor in that he is also surprisingly nimble-footed and effectively combines Shotokan Karate and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, and you seemingly have all of the ingredients of a future superstar.
Silva has won seven of his last eight starts, including a decisive, lopsided decision over former UFC heavyweight champion Andrei “The Pitbull” Arlovski in his most recent outing last May 15.
Silva’s lone loss since December 2006 came when he was narrowly outpointed by fellow Brazilian, and Fedor conqueror Fabricio Werdum, on Nov.7, 2009. After an early onslaught that included decking Werdum and having him in serious trouble, Werdum rallied to eke out a decision by the scores of 29-28 three times.
“I want to fight and I’ll fight whoever they put in front of me,’’ Silva said. “My goal is to be the best and fight for a world title.’’
Overeem (28-23), of Amsterdam, The Netherlands, is a fierce, dangerous striker who has won his last two fights in a combined time of 47 seconds. The 6-foot-3, 34-year-old Dutch Destroyer scored a 40-second KO (knee) over Catalin Zmarandescu last May 21. In his outing before last, the previous April 17, a head kick finished off Tengiz Tedoradze seven seconds after the opening bell.
Overeem has several notable victories, including a 0:56, first-round submission over all-time great Randy “The Natural” Couture and a 2:19, first-round submission over Sobral. Overeem has only gone the distance twice is a 53-fight career.
A member of Team Golden Glory like his brother, Overeem is a four-time winner in PRIDE Fighting Championship competition. He’ll be making his debut for STRIKEFORCE after signing with the San Jose, Calif.-based promotion in June.
Crowd favorite and St. Louis native, welterweight Jesse Finney, will take on a foe to be announced in the top non-televised undercard scrap.
Doors at Scottrade Center will open for the event at 6 p.m. CT. The first preliminary bout will begin at 6:30 p.m. and the first SHOWTIME televised main card fight will begin at 9 p.m.
STRIKEFORCE (www.strikeforce.com) is a world-class mixed martial arts cage fight promotion which, on Friday, March 10, 2006, made history with its "Shamrock vs. Gracie" event, the first sanctioned mixed martial arts fight card in California state history. The star-studded extravaganza, which pitted legendary champion Frank Shamrock against Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt Cesar Gracie at San Jose's HP Pavilion, played host to a sold-out, record crowd of 18,265. Since 1995, STRIKEFORCE, sanctioned by ISKA, has been the exclusive provider of martial arts programming for ESPN and, after 12 years of success as a leading, world championship kickboxing promotion, the company unveiled its mixed martial arts (MMA) series with "Shamrock vs. Gracie." In May 2008, West Coast Productions, the parent company of STRIKEFORCE, partnered with Silicon Valley Sports & Entertainment (SVS&E), an entity created in 2000 to oversee all business operation aspects of the San Jose Sharks and HP Pavilion at San Jose. In March 2009, STRIKEFORCE signed a multi-year agreement with SHOWTIME® to stage live events on the premium cable television network. The promotion has since also produced two live, primetime events on the CBS Television Network.
STRIKEFORCE Mike Afromowitz (917) 566-8754, firstname.lastname@example.org
Brener Zwikel & Associates Steve Pratt (818) 462-5602, SteveP@BZAPR.com
John Beyrooty (562) 233-7477, Johnnybey@aol.com