Strikeforce held a grand press conference at Lighthouse 61 in Chelsea Piers yesterday with all eight of the fighters in their heavyweight grand prix in the house, as well as the reserve fighters. Fedor Emelianenko, Josh Barnett, Alistair Overeem, Fabricio Werdum, Brett Rogers, Sergei Kharitonov, Andrei Arlovski and Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva all answered questions, along with Strikeforce President Scott Coker, and M-1’s director of operations Evgeni Kogan.
Topics included when the tournament would end, how reserves would be implemented in case of an injury (and how big of an injury warrants a reserve stepping in), location of the next event, what fighter thinks they are the favorite to win it all, how they are preparing, and many other questions that led to a very entertaining press conference. Seriously, Fabricio Werdum and Antonio Silva were telling jokes and Josh Barnett rocked the mic in typical pro-wrestler fashion to deliver some excellent quotables. Even Fedor began to screw around with the press, and believe me, hearing Fedor make jokes is truly a surreal thing.
“The biggest thing from my perspective is how you, the media, perceive it and if you will take the onus to view it objectively or if there will be a bias,” Josh Barnett said at one point when asked about the importance of this event. “If it’s a constant three letter [comparison]…if it’s not the UFC then its not as good, then you’re really sort of shitting on all that were doing here. I want everyone to look at it from a subjective standpoint, for what it is…at the end of the day it doesn’t matter where it takes place…it’s about the fighters themselves…our accomplishments will shine no matter what cage, or ring, or back alley, whatever it takes to accomplish what it is to be a fighter.”
“Why can’t there be two leagues?” Scott Coker added. “I don’t have to hurt their business to grow my business and that’s my philosophy. I don’t wake up and worry about what’s going on on the other side of the fence. I have enough work here to worry about what’s on my side of the fence.”