T Nation

Fedor Out, Silva IN




"A confused PRIDE Openweight Grand Prix has gained some clarity.

PRIDE Heavyweight Champion Fedor Emelianenko has officially withdrawn from the PRIDE Openweight Grand Prix. Emelianenko, who underwent surgery on
his right hand to repair a damaged thumb, will not be ready in time to compete on July 1st as was previously hoped. Dream Stage Entertainment slotted Emelianenko into the second round, giving him a bye through the first round on May 5th, hoping that he would be sufficiently healthy enough to fight. However, a Russian doctor informed DSE President Nobuyuki Sakakibara that the earliest that the metal plate in Fedor's hand could be removed is in June.

Emelianenko apologized to the Japanese fans for his lingering injury, and went on to state that he would like to fight any time in the late year, whether it be at the Openweight Grand Prix finale in September, at PRIDE's first American show in Las Vegas in October, or on New Years Eve at Otoko Matsuri.

In Emelianenko's place, will be PRIDE Middleweight Champion Wanderlei Silva. Silva, who was scheduled to be in the first round of the Grand Prix before contract disputes, is rumored to be taking on Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira.

Also, Croatian superstar Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipovic's teammates from the Team Nokaut have confirmed that despite a deep bone bruise to his left ankle, Filipovic will indeed participate in the July 1st Openweight Grand Prix event at Saitama Super Arena."

I'm glad to see Fedor doing the smart thing, and I'm glad to see Silva in. Barnett/Fedor would have been awesome, but Nog/Silva could be legendary. Silva being in will also bring back some of the "Open Weight" legitimacy of the tournament. On the Pride site Sakikibara mentions he will be announcing undercard fights next week.


thanks for the update


That's "Big Nog" right? Man, I read an interview the other day where Silva was talking about fighting "Little Nog"!

As an aside, I bet that the substitute fighter is pissed that he's not substituting.


That is Big Nog, correct. Sakikibara (sp?) has said from the beginning that he reserved the right to put whoever he wants into the tournament. It wasn't until the US PPV that I heard Trigg mention that the Zentsov-Yvel fight was the "reserve" match.


Any idea how Silva should fair against Nog. I have only been following Pride since last year's MW Grand Prix, but from what little I've seen Nog looks incredicle, and Silva seemed to have trouble defending the take down in both matches with Arona.

From what I've heard (again I haven't heard much) Big Nog would be a stronger opponent than Arona. Am I way off, or is Silva in trouble in this one?


I think Silva will have serious trouble with this match-up. Nog has the best chin around, other than Mark Hunt, and the best Ju-Jitsu skills of any HW. In his second fight with Fedor, Nog took a right hand that sounded like a 12 gauge going off in the ring and dropped hard, but he recovered almost instantly. He also ate some serious blows from Cro Cop without much trouble. If it goes to decision Silva can win it, but otherwise it will be Nog getting the sub.


This sucks in that I was hoping to see Fedor vs. Barnett, but Silva being in the GP is just as awesome IMO. I read an interview with Silva and he seemed realistic about his chances, and just said he was going to fight his best and keep it entertaining. I have no doubt that he'll hold up on that. Is it set that he's fighting Big Nog?


Whilst I also doubt whether Silva can beat Nog it should be a highly entertaining matchup. Nog, unlike Arona's "Lay and Pray" crap, actually chases submissions so the ground fight should be entertaining. Silva is submission savvy enough to defend himself for a while but I sencerly doubt he can knock Nog out, which is his only chance of winning.

The last year of PRIDE has been action packed. Hopefully this will continue.