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Strikeforce Preview: Antonio Silva vs. Fabricio Werdum

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Antonio Silva will be making his first appearance on American soil since dispatching the late Justin Eilers in July 2008 to become the first and only EliteXC Heavyweight champion. However, after that fight it was learned that Silva tested positive for the steroid Boldenone and was banned for a year and fined by the California State Athletic Commission. Silva maintained that he was innocent of the charge and ignored the ban only to go over to Japan and fight for the Sengoku promotion in which he was 2-0. Silva is huge, standing at 6'4" tall and weighing over 260lbs. He possesses a solid array of skills from his background in muay thai and bjj and most of his fights never go past the first round with only one fight going to the judges. His overall record stands at 13-1 with 9 wins via TKO/KO and 3 wins via submission training out of the well respected American Top Team camp.

Fabricio Werdum is a well decorated bjj specialist that has gone up against some of the best heavyweights in the world. He is a veteran of PRIDE, UFC, and Strikeforce with an overall record standing at 17-4-1 with 4 wins via KO/TKO and 5 wins via submission. Werdum has improved his stand up skills considerably since he began training with the fame Chute Boxe academy after his lackluster loss to former UFC champion Andrei Arlovski at UFC 70. He was able to put away fighters like Gabriel Gonzaga and Brandon Vera before being upset by the up and coming UFC prospect, Junior dos Santos. However, Werdum made a successful Strikeforce debut submitting Mike Kyle in less than two minutes.

Werdum is the slight favorite in this fight as he has more experience and has fought and defeated tougher opposition than Silva. It'll be interesting to see this fight unfold. It could be a great fight or a snoozer depending on a few things. While Silva is versed in submissions, he will probably want to keep this one on the feet and go for the knockout. Whereas, Werdum may want to get this fight to the ground to take advantage of his bjj skills. Can he take the much larger Silva down though? Would he be confident enough to pull guard on the much larger Silva just to get the fight to the ground. What does Silva's cardio look like the longer the fight goes? Ultimately, I think Werdum should be able to win this fight, but I wouldn't be surprised if Silva were to pull it out as well. I guess we'll get to see how it unfolds on Saturday night.

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