Ryan Couture returns at Strikeforce Challengers 19 on September 23rd
Coming off the first professional loss of his career, Ryan Couture (2-1 MMA, 2-1 SF) will start the process of rebuilding in the fall.
The son of UFC Hall of Famer Randy Couture is scheduled to return at Strikeforce Challengers 19, which takes place Sept. 23 at The Pearl at the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas. The event's main card airs live on Showtime.
Fedor Emelianenko released from Strikeforce
At the UFC 133 press conference it was announced by UFC president Dana White that Fedor Emelianenko has been released from his Strikeforce contract. Fedor is riding a three fight losing streak while carrying a hefty price tag and a management team with a long history of proving difficult for Zuffa to deal with. That combination makes this a much less shocking cut than the recent release of Strikeforce heavyweight champion Alistair Overeem.
This does, however, continue the thinning out of the Strikeforce roster and the likely eventual dissolving of the promotion once the Showtime deal hits completion.
Strikeforce's Gina Carano cleared for training, manager hopes for 2011 return
Gina Carano's doctor has cleared her to resume training, and if all goes well, she'll be back in the cage before the end of the year.
As with any Carano update, that's far from a promise, but it's the plan for now, manager Scott Karp today told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com).
If nothing else, it appears the medical issue that precluded her from fighting this past June at "Strikeforce: Overeem vs. Werdum" won't keep her from mixing it up in the gym.
Golden Glory trainer on recent UFC/Strikeforce cuts: "I think it's unfair"
Martin de Jong got a punch to the gut when he checked his email Wednesday morning.
In his inbox was a letter forwarded from Golden Glory manager Bas Boon that stated three of his fighters under the Zuffa umbrella had been cut due to recent losses.
The fighters included former Strikeforce women's bantamweight champion Marloes Coenen, UFC heavyweight Jon Olav Einemo and Strikeforce heavyweight Valentijn Overeem.
"This is a big blow for us," de Jong today told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com). "I feel it's kind of unfair to the fighters. They train hard. They put on exciting performances."
Are the cuts related to the recent strife between Alistair Overeem and Zuffa?
De Jong can't be sure.
"You tell me," he said. "I have no idea, but it doesn't look good. Of course, for us, it's really bad. I'm very disappointed. What can I say?"
Marloes Coenen cut by Strikeforce
A week after Zuffa released Strikeforce heavyweight champion Alistair Overeem from his contract, three of Overeem's Golden Glory teammates have also been cut, including former women's champion Marloes Coenen.
Golden Glory's Martin de Jong wrote on Twitter that Coenen, heavyweight John Olav Einemo and Overeem's brother Valentijn Overeem were all released by Zuffa.
There's clear tension at the moment between Golden Glory and Zuffa, the parent company of both the UFC and Strikeforce. Although Zuffa can point to the fact that Coenen, Einemo and Valentijn Overeem were all coming off losses, cutting them all and also cutting Alistair Overeem suggests that Zuffa doesn't want to deal with Golden Glory (which functions as both a gym and a promoter) at all.
Keith Jardine Dropping to Middleweight, Wants Cung Le
Former UFC and current Strikeforce fighter Keith Jardine is dropping to middleweight, and he has one name on his mind for a debut fight at 185 - former Strikeforce middleweight champion Cung Le. Le has been campaigning for a fight in the UFC, but Jardine wants to duke it out in a Strikeforce cage. He had a lot to say to MMA Weekly about Le:
"Just looking out there, they need to get a fight for me, and it needs to be a big named guy, I want it to be a big named guy. Looking at Strikeforce seeing who they’ve got and there’s not much bigger than Cung Le. I thought that would be a great match-up."
Aleksander Emelianenko Trashes Fedor's Coaches Following Loss to Dan Henderson
One of the few bright spots that were talked about during Fedor Emelianenko's preparations for his Strikeforce bout against Dan Henderson, was him re-uniting with his brother Aleksander. The two had a falling-out of sorts, and after two straight losses for Fedor, they mended fences and trained together again.
Shortly after his brother's loss though, Aleks spoke out and had some harsh words for Fedor's coaches. He talked to LifeSports.ru about it, in a phone interview (translated by Fighters Only):
"They sat like two amoebas, and did not know what to say. They were asked direct questions and would say, "It is difficult to say… we will see in the fight," - what kind of a coach says that? Only one who doesn’t understand the sport. I just call them ‘Stopwatch’ and ‘Towel’. That's as much use as they are, that's it,"
Unemployed Hendo wants Jones vs. Rampage winner
“I think that could be interesting going forward, a unification fight with the winner of that contest would be a good match,” Dan Henderson told Telegraph Sport from his home tonight.
“I’m the Strikeforce light-heavyweight champion, I’ve beaten Fedor, and I’m unemployed, so we’ll have to see what the talks are now after I’ve had a few weeks off. It’s not a bad position to be in though.”
Herb Dean's Actual Missed Call Being Overlooked
One of the biggest stories in the wake of Strikeforce: Fedor vs. Henderson was referee Herb Dean's actions in the main event. While I've written that I feel the stoppage was correct and that Dan Henderson had Fedor Emelianenko knocked out, others (such as MMA Nation's Jonathan Snowden) have taken issue with the speed of the stoppage and/or the strikes to the back of Fedor's head in the final moments of the fight.
The minor controversy has completely overshadowed a moment from the undercard which seems to point out a larger failing on the part of Dean. It appears that during the bout between Gesias Cavalcante and Bobby Green saw Cavalcante lock in a rear naked choke in the final moments of the second round. Sherdog explains:
...referee Herb Dean elected not to call the tapout at the bell, allowed the fight to proceed and left Cavalcante to sweat out a decision. The 28-year-old Brazilian was awarded a split verdict, as all three judges scored it 29-28, two of them in his favor.
Scott Coker: Cung Le is going to fight in Strikeforce, hopefully before years end
Middleweight striking specialist Cung Le (7-1 MMA, 7-1 SF) has openly lobbied for a spot in the UFC's planned November trip to San Jose, Calif., but Strikeforce boss Scott Coker doesn't believe that's going to happen.
However, Coker is hopeful Le will return to action soon – hopefully before year's end.
"Cung is going to fight in Strikeforce," Coker told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com). "Cung wants to fight in November because it's his home town. I'd like to see Cung fight in our December show."
Fedor thinks stoppage was early
Emelianenko addressed the super fight and its eventual stoppage after Saturday's Showtime-televised event at Sears Centre Arena in Hoffman Estates, Ill.
"It seems to me, yes (it was stopped early)," he said through translator and M-1 executive Steve Bash. "It seems to me objectively, I was ready to continue fighting."
Woodley vs. Saffiedine likely to determine next Strikeforce welterweight champ
HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill. – The Strikeforce welterweight title could soon be wrapped around a new waist.
Following Nick Diaz's recent move to the UFC and his vacating of the title, two likely title challengers emerged from Saturday's "Strikeforce and M-1 Global: Fedor vs. Henderson" event.
Big wins from Tyron Woodley (9-0 MMA, 7-0 SF) and Tarec Saffiedine (11-3 MMA, 2-1 SF) likely will put their title fight in motion, according to Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker.
Fedor vs. Hendo: Maybe ‘Minotauro’ Knows Best
The fight resumes of Fedor Emelianenko and Dan Henderson are chock full of memorable battles over more than a decade. They fought a range of opponents of all sizes and abilities in all corners of the world. Though they have never been on the same track long enough to face each other, the headliners of the Strikeforce/M-1 Global event on Saturday at the Sears Centre in Hoffman Estates, Ill., forged their reputations, in large part, against a common foe.
Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira spent about 75 minutes of his life locked in combat with Emelianenko and Henderson, a bruising and strenuous slate that laid bare the trio’s grit and gifts.
“I know those guys very well,” Nogueira said during a recent appearance on the Sherdog Radio Network’s “Rewind” program. “I’ll tell you, [they are] very similar. Both guys ... they have a very good right hand. They’re both very good Greco-[Roman wrestling] guys, so they throw the right hand and get close, shorten the distance. It’s kind of the same, the way they attack the person in the fight.”
Alistair Overeem Cut From Strikeforce
Inside MMA has reported that Strikeforce heavyweight champion Alistair Overeem has received a release letter from the promotion. Overeem, one of the original participants in the Strikeforce World Heavyweight Grand Prix, pulled out of the tournament after refusing to accept a bout date for the second leg of the tournament in September.
The champion claimed that Strikeforce had originally told him to be ready for an October or November date. After preparing to begin his camp at the start of August, in addition to an injured toe coming out of his fight with Fabricio Werdum, Overeem felt he wouldn't be ready to accept a date so close.
Next Face of Women's MMA? Marloes Coenen, Miesha Tate Ready to Answer Call
When Zuffa, parent company of the UFC, bought Strikeforce earlier this year, fans could practically hear the collective thud of hearts dropping into the stomachs of female fighters and fans of women's MMA.
After all, UFC and Zuffa president Dana White has been repeatedly adamant that he doesn't believe female MMA will ever realistically have a place in the UFC – largely because of his belief the talent pool of upper-echelon women's fighters is not deep enough to sufficiently fill out multiple divisions over a sustained period of time.
With Strikeforce under the Zuffa umbrella, the fear that the most well-known home for women's MMA could disappear into the ether with a possible future merger with the UFC is a real one. But it's one that women's 135-pound champion Marloes Coenen and her Saturday challenger, Miesha Tate, have no problem tackling head on.
Brett Rogers receives permission to contact family, returns to court in August
Former Strikeforce heavyweight Brett Rogers (11-3) isn't yet in the clear, but he is again able to see his family.
In a Monday ruling in Dakota County, Minn., judge Rex Stacey modified a previously-issued no-contact order, allowing Rogers to contact his wife, Tiuana Rogers, via phone, email and text, as well as allowing the heavyweight to speak with his children and to meet with his family for counseling.
Rogers' attorney, Murad M. Mohammad, believes the move is a positive sign as he and his client prepare for an Aug. 29 settlement conference.
Despite doubters, Strikeforce's Daniel Cormier knows he's ready for grand-prix slot
Daniel Cormier was training, as usual, this past week when his manager and trainer at American Kickboxing Academy, Bob Cook, came up to him and said he'd missed a call from the UFC.
Cook, however, had gotten a text around the same time from another source who made clear what the call was about.
Antonio Silva's manager, Alex Davis, had written this to him: "I guess we're going to be standing across the cage from each other."
Cung Le Will Only Return to MMA to Fight in the UFC
Former Strikeforce middleweight champion Cung Le might only have eight career MMA fights, but the former San Shou world champion is a popular figure in the sport and people want to see him fight. Le has been concentrating on a budding acting career of late and has only fought twice in the past three years though, and there doesn't appear to be much on the horizon for him. He's under contract to Strikeforce, but he told MMA Weekly that the only thing he want to do now is fight for the UFC:
"I know for a fact that if I do fight again, it’s going to be in the UFC. I’ve never fought in the UFC, but I would love to fight in the UFC. But right now because of my contract with Showtime and Strikeforce, hopefully things can work out because there is a show in San Jose that Cain Velasquez is the main event. I would love to fight in San Jose for the UFC and for Dana White and Lorenzo (Fertitta)," said Le.
"Strikeforce: Grand Prix Semifinals" tickets on sale this week for Cincinnati
Tickets for Strikeforce's Cincinnati debut go on sale this week.
The event, "Strikeforce: Heavyweight Grand Prix Semifinals," takes place Sept. 10 at U.S. Bank Arena, and the night's main card airs on Showtime.
Tickets range form $38 to $203, according to the venue's website.
The event features tournament semifinals of Daniel Cormier (8-0 MMA, 5-0 SF) vs. Antonio "Bigfoot" Silva (16-2 MMA, 3-1 SF) and Sergei Kharitonov (18-4 MMA, 1-0 SF) vs. Josh Barnett (30-5 MMA, 1-0 SF). Additionally, middleweight champ Ronaldo "Jacare" Souza (14-2 MMA, 4-0 SF) puts his belt on the line against Luke Rockhold (7-1 MMA, 6-0 SF).
Tickets go on sale to the general public this Friday, July 29, beginning at noon ET (9 a.m. PT).
Strikeforce Challengers 17 medical suspensions: Lanham heads minimal orders
This past weekend's "Strikeforce Challengers 17: Voelking vs. Bowler III" event featured a few highlight-reel finishes and toe-to-toe scraps, but the evening's competitor's got off relatively injury-free.
MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) today requested and received the list of medical suspensions from the Nevada State Athletic Commissions.
Just six of the evening's 18 fighters received suspensions, and most were of the minimal precautionary variety. However, Lionel Lanham was given a fairly lengthy order.