All this week, I'll be breaking down Strikeforce: Fedor VS Rogers, fight by fight. Today I'll be focusing on Antonio Silva and Fabricio Werdum. A fight between the first and last Elite XC Heavyweight champion, and a former top-tier UFC competitor.

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Antonio Silva

Antonio "Pezao" Silva is a 6'4 monster with the uncanny ability to both knockout or submit his opponent in any given fight. In fact, in his 14 career fights, Silva has only seen one fight go to decision.

Silva suffers from Acromegaly, a condition that results in the pituitary gland producing an extraordinary amount of growth hormone. He shares this disease with other athletes such as the late Andre The Giant and world champion Boxer Nikolay Valuev, among others. What makes Silva stand out amongst other famous acromegalics is that he is only 6'4".

"Pezao" holds a professional MMA record of 13-1 in 14 fights. While he only holds one real notable victory, a split decision win over Ricco Rodriguez, Silva is not to be overlooked here.

Other than that decision victory, only one of his fights has gone past the first round. Silva is a very dangerous striker, but he has also proved to be a capable submission fighter. With an arm-triangle victory and a rear naked choke in 2007, Silva is showing some promise in the submission realm.

Keys To Victory

  1. Stand Up- Although it may seem obvious, Antonio has got to keep this fights on its feet. He does not want to go to the ground with Fabricio Werdum. Silva is known for his knockout power, hopefully he realizes that.
  2. Size Matters- Silva will have around a 40-pound weight advantage come fight time and is the stronger of the two fighters. He needs to use that as much as possible. If he can't follow the first key and keep this thing standing, he's got use his strength to get back up.
  3. Finish him- He won't be getting a submission win in all likelihood, but Junior Dos Santos showed us that Fabricio has a soft spot for hard punches. Luckily for Antonio, he's got those hard punches. I don't see Antonio winning a decision in this fight, that only leaves one other option.
Fabrico Werdum

Everybody should know who this is. A former elite level competitor in the UFC Heavyweight division, Werdum was a fighter that a lot of people saw as the heir to the Heavyweight throne. That was until Junior Dos Santos punched Werdum right out of the UFC.

Since that fight in October 2008, Werdum has fought just once. In his Strikeforce debut back in August, Werdum submitted Mike Kyle early in the first round. It was his seventh submission victory in just 17 fights.

In those 17 fights, Werdum has acquired an impressive 12-4-1 record. With wins over Brandon Vera, Gabriel Gonzaga (twice), Aleks Emelianenko, and Alistair Overeem, Werdum has more than proved himself as a top Heavyweight.

He finished all of the men listed above, as well as numerous others. Adding to his already very impressive credentials, Fabricio is a world renowned grappling competitor.

He has won numerous grappling competitions, defeating countless MMA stars in the process. Names such as Rolles and Daniel Gracie, Matt Lindland, Marcio Cruz, Mike Van Arsdale, and Reese Andy have all fallen to Werdum in competition.

While he has never won a professional MMA title, Fabricio is a two time winner of the prestigious ADCC World Submission Wrestling Championship.

Keys To Victory

  1. Get Down On The Ground- The exact opposite of what Silva must do, Fabricio should find a way to get this one to the ground. Is it a necessity, not as much as standing is for Silva, but if Werdum wants to make things easier on himself, the mat is his friend.
  2. Time Is Of The Essence - Five times Fabricio Werdum has seen judges scorecards, only once have those cards been read in his favor. Not to say that Werdum can't win a decision, but if I had a history like that, I know I'd be looking to finish.
  3. Don't Underestimate- Too many times have we seen a good fighter get taken down by an inferior opponent. Why? Because they underestimate their opponents ( I'm looking at you GSP). Werdum can't do this here. Silva is good, he can knock you out quickly, just make sure you stay away from those big shots.
Prediction

With the experience and resume of a guy like Fabricio Werdum, it's pretty hard to deny him a fight against a guy like Antonio Silva. If Werdum can avoid the big shots, expect him to use his far superior grappling skills to get Silva to the ground and submit him early on.