MMA Quick Hits 2/14/11: Fedor could return in the Heavyweight Grand Prix, Vitor Belfort accepts Wanderlei Silva’s challenge
Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker told MMAJunke.com that even though Strikeforce ran three tournament alternate bouts on Saturday night on Showtime, Fedor Emelianenko could be the first to get that spot. Emelianenko could potentially return as an alternate in the tournament should an injury occur. “There’s absolutely a possibility he could be a replacement. That’s the beauty of the tournament. You don’t know what could happen in the next leg of the tournament. As this tournament unwinds over the year, there could be an injury, and you could see Fedor back in the tournament.” Really? He was absolutely destroyed by Antonio Silva. What if he came back and won the entire thing? Not only would that be a sham because he would have to fight Overeem, who would have already lost, again, but he’ll have won after being completely owned by a fighter in the same tournament. If you already have reserves, use them. Fedor shouldn’t get another shot. Besides, I honestly believe he’s sincere about retiring.
Vitor Belfort has responded to Wanderlei Silva’s call-out. Belfort told the same website used for the call-out, Tatame.com, “Let’s do it, brother. I accept it. He’s a great athlete, a great champion, and it would be a pleasure to fight him. It’d be a highly anticipated fight, very important for the sport. Whatever Dana [White] says I’ll do, I never chose opponents and I won’t do it now. But he made the challenge and I’m accepting it. I just don’t wanna wait for the UFC Rio to come back, I wanna fight first.” Well then, let’s do it! I would love to see this. Would be even better if it was in Brazil, but Belfort wants to fight as soon as possible. I’ll take the fight either way, but being in Brazil would be the ultimate, if only for nostalgic purposes.
Gina Carano’s return to Strikeforce was officially announced during Strikeforce’s Showtime broadcast of Saturday’s “Fedor vs. Silva” event, and multiple reports have the former women’s champion returning to the cage this June. Yes! Wait, no. I mean, yes, Gina Carano. No, women’s MMA. Make her a ring girl, announcer, or analyst. No need for her to fight.
According to a report from MMAJunkie.com, Jorge Santiago is to make his return to the UFC at UFC 130, and he’s expected to face off against Brian Stann on the Memorial Day weekend in Las Vegas. Well, since Wanderlei wants to fight Belfort, I’ll take Santiago for Brian Stann. That should be a hell of a fight.
Gareth Davies of the UK Telegraph said via Twitter that British Lightweight Paul Kelly has been cut from the UFC following his loss to Donald Cerrone on the UFC 126 card. That lightweight division is a shark tank. You better be winning and you better be performing. It’s easily the deepest division in the UFC. I’m sure Kelly will pick up a win or two and be back on an overseas card. Wait for it.