All but two fighters make weight
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- All but two fighters made weight on Friday for the opening card of Strikeforce's World Grand Prix Heavyweight Tournament.
Neither fighter who failed to make weight is scheduled to perform on Saturday night's main card at Izod Center.
The four heavyweights scheduled to participate in the two feature bouts made weight.
Fedor Emelianenko (31-2-0) tipped the scales at 230 pounds. His opponent, Antonio 'Big Foot' Silva, made the cut with a pound to spare, weighing in at a solid 264.
Emelianenko, who is coming off the second loss of his professional career, is expected to bounce back with a victory over Silva (15-2-0). He isn't looking beyond Silva, but is motivated to get a rematch with the man who last defeated him -- Fabricio Werdum.
"I have no preference for my next opponent. I will be ready to face anyone," Emelianenko said. "But it would be good to get a rematch with Werdum."
Andrei Arlovski and Sergei Kharitonov will meet in the card's second tournament bout. Each man easily came in under the mandatory heavyweight 265-pound limit.
Arlovski (15-8-0) weighed in at 242 pounds. Kharitonov (17-4-0) registered at 250.
Every fighter on the three additional main card bouts also made weight.
Tournament alternates Shane Del Rosario and Lavar Johnson weighed in at 248 pounds and 243 pounds, respectively. Chad Griggs weighed in at 229 pounds, while his opponent Gian Villante tipped the scale at 227 pounds.
Valentijn Overeem came in at 239 pounds. He will face Ray Sefo, who jumped off the scale weighing 249 pounds.
With all of the fighters on the main card making weight, Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker could finally breathe a sigh of relief.
"It's surreal, now that it's finally here," Coker said. "We've been working on putting this event together for four or five months, since September of last year. For it to finally be here, and for us to keep the original lineup is very special.
"And any time Fedor fights, it's special. He's a very special athlete."
Only lightweight Marc Stevens (156.5 pounds) and featherweight Anthony Leone (146.2 pounds) failed to make their required weight limits.
Leone had an hour to shed 2 ounces for his bout with Josh LaBerge. Stevens will not shed any more weight. His opponent John Cholish accepted the extra pounds.
Franklin McNeil covers mixed martial arts and boxing for ESPN.com. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/Franklin_McNeil.
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