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Chad Griggs taking on regional prospect in final Strikeforce Grand Prix reserve bout

With last week’s announcement regarding Strikeforce’s upcoming heavyweight tournament, as well as a pair of reserve fights attached to the event’s opening round on February 12 in New Jersey, speculation quickly began on who else from the promotion’s roster might join the Grand Prix grouping. Though names like Bobby Lashley and Dan Cormier were rumored it appears Chad Griggs, who beat Lashley this past August, will serve as one of the final two alternates with his opponent being 7-1 Gian Villante. Villante is from the area and has fought a number of times for Jersey-based Ring of Combat where he’s currently heavyweight champion.

The match-up was reported by the L.A. Times who also mentioned its attachment to the 2/12 event. Requests for comment from Griggs’ camp and Strikeforce representatives have not been returned as of this posting.

The 9-1 Griggs has won his last four fights by way of TKO including his comeback victory over Lashley at “Strikeforce – Houston”. While “The Grave Digger” has seen the third round twice in his career he’s never actually gone to decision with all nine of his victories involving strike-based finishes (and the lone loss being a submission).

Like Griggs, Villante has never seen the judges’ scorecards with six of his seven total wins coming in the first round with four TKOs and two tap-outs in the bunch.

The two heavyweights will join four other pairings involved in the Strikeforce World Grand Prix when the curtain falls at the IZOD Center in East Rutherford. Also set for the card are main-bracket match-ups featuring Fedor Emelianenko fighting Antonio Silva and Andrei Arlovski in action against Sergei Kharitonov, as well as reserve bouts including Valentijn Overeem facing Ray Sefo and undefeated Shane Del Rosario seeking success against Lavar Johnson.


  • Jak says:

    Too bad Griggs is somehow now a top HW for SF for Lashley giving up.

    Realistically, this would be a great fight for the Challengers series.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 4

  • MCM says:

    All this talk about SF HW’s but where’s the news about the UFC HW division?

    Carwin is coming back at UFC 130 but we don’t know against whom.
    Mir and Nelson are scheduled to go at it…in the cage this time
    and Brock and JDS were just named as the new coaches on TUF with the winner getting a title shot at Cain…..but no interim belt.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 3

  • MCM says:

    Since Dana hasn’t said anything about the SF GP, I’m guessing that’s why he put Brock on free TV to counter act SF’s possible PPV’s. ‘Course, most of the HW GP is gonna be on Showtime anyway.
    Damn it’s a good time to be an MMA fan.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  • Rece Rock says:

    Lame…Not impressed with this move, kinda whack.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 3

  • ZzFDKzZ says:

    Wow small world. I wrestle and lost against Villante back in HS.

    I think he walks around 210ish very small for a HW.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0


    Should be Griggs vs. Cormier

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  • MMA-LOGIC says:

    Why do they need 2 reserves? If 2 guys from the final 4 are injured, delay the final 4 match ups. If Griggs or Villante are required delay the semis. Do not completely devalue this event.
    If you have Cormier and either Lavar or Del Rosario you don’t need the others.
    Getting worried.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1


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