Strikeforce: Overeem-Werdum Rematch April 9
Strikeforce has confirmed the date of April 9 for the second round of its Heavyweight Grand Prix quarterfinals, featuring a rematch between reigning heavyweight champion Alistair Overeem and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu deity Fabricio Werdum, who first met under the PRIDE banner way back in 2006. The bout saw "Vai Cavalo" crank his way to a submission victory over "Demolition Man" with a second round Kimura. Venue for the event TBA, the fight will be a NON-TITLE match.
Tyron Woodley Believes He's No. 1 Contender and on Nick Diaz's Mind
Here's what we know is true about Tyron Woodley: he's 28 years old; he made his MMA debut two years ago; he's 8-0; and he just signed a new four-fight deal with Strikeforce.
Here's what Woodley would like you to know: he should be fighting for the Strikeforce welterweight title as soon as possible.
"I think I'm the No. 1 contender at this point," the American Top Team member said on Monday's episode of The MMA Hour. "I think, realistically, from the communication I got from Strikeforce, me and Tarec [Saffiedine] wasn't just an irrelevant fight. It meant something. It meant that we were fighting for either the No. 1 contendership spot or to bang heads with [Paul] Daley, and I'm more than willing to go against Daley to solidify that I'm the No. 1 contender and I deserve a title shot.
Diaz focuses on Cyborg -- then boxing?
Nothing is taking Nick Diaz's mind off the task at hand -- not the hoopla surrounding his refusal to move up in weight and face Jason "Mayhem" Miller nor the possibility of competing in a boxing match later this year.
Strikeforce's welterweight champion is focused solely on successfully defending his title on Saturday night (on Showtime at 10 ET) in San Jose, Calif., against Evangelista "Cyborg" Santos.
If Diaz loses focus for just a short period of time, his reign could end. Diaz (23-7-0, 1 no-contest) is aware that Santos has enough power and determination to end his night quickly.
Will Ronaldo Souza Survive The "Ruthless" Standup Of Robbie Lawler?
Not if Lawler has his way Saturday night. "He’ll have no choice but to stand. That’s what I plan on doing. I’m forcing him to stand and seeing how good his standup is. I believe if anyone stands, it’s just a matter of time before I catch them. I believe I’m better on standup. He’s a really good athlete. He’s explosive. His takedowns are real explosive and he’s got a judo background. I just have to keep it where I want to and not make any mistakes and take advantage of it being on the feet. I believe it’s going to be an awesome fight. Two guys, one guy not wanting to give up the belt and one guy going in there to take the belt. It’s going to be a battle." Lawler faces Souza for the Strikeforce Middleweight title.
Fedor Emelianenko Will Not Win The Strikeforce HWGP Tournament
So says none other than Scott Coker...and if he's on it'll be a loss to a familiar face. "I believe that there are going to be some upsets in this tournament. On one side you'll have Alistair Overeem and he will fight (Josh) Barnett. The other prediction is, if Fabricio Werdum beats Alistair (Overeem), I believe Fabricio can beat Fedor (Emelianenko) again and he'll probably fight (Josh) Barnett. That's my prediction, but in these things you never know, I'm just throwing out some names. The reality is we're going to have a lot of fun watching it unfold."
Paul Daley Could Lose SF Title Shot With 2/26 BAMMA Loss
Right now, Paul Daley is Strikeforce's contender-in-waiting and will get a title shot against the winner of Saturday's championship fight between welterweight titleholder Nick Diaz and challenger Evangelista Santos. But Daley could lose that title shot if he suffers a loss on Feb. 26. That's when Daley fights Yuya Shirai for a vacant welterweight belt at BAMMA 5, an event that takes place in his native U.K. During a media call today, Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker was asked about that fight. While the organization allows some fighters to sign non-exclusive deals and compete in outside organizations, that fight could affect Daley's future in Strikeforce. Coker said a win at the BAMMA show will keep Daley next in line for the title shot. And a loss? "The deck gets reshuffled," he said.
Cesar Gracie explains why Diaz chose Strikeforce over UFC
Diaz recently signed an extension with Strikeforce. Though Gracie could not discuss the exact terms, he said reports the contract was for a three-year deal were inaccurate.
He confirmed that the UFC was interested in Diaz but noted that the decision was ultimately made to stay with Strikeforce because Diaz's brother Nate and his main training partner Jake Shields also fight in the UFC's welterweight class.
Diaz, however, is not closing the door on a return to the UFC (he fought 10 times for the promotion between 2003-2006, going 6-4).
Ryan Couture meets Lee Higgins at Strikeforce Challengers 14
With less than a month to fight time, Ryan Couture has an opponent for his second professional fight.
Couture (1-0 MMA, 1-0 SF) is expected to meet Lee Higgins (2-0 MMA, 0-0 SF) at Strikeforce Challengers 14, according to sources close to the event who today told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) that verbal agreements are in place for the bout.
Strikeforce Challengers 14 takes place Feb. 18 at Cedar Park Center in Cedar Park, Texas, and airs live on Showtime.
Couture, 28, made a successful professional debut this past August at Strikeforce Challengers 10 when he submitted Lucas Stark with a first-round triangle choke. He went 4-1 as an amateur before crossing over.
Strikeforce Challengers 14, Beerbohm vs. Healy headliner official for Feb. 18
The next installment of the prospects-driven Strikeforce Challengers series is set for Feb. 18.
As expected, officials have announced that Strikeforce Challengers 14 features a lightweight headliner between undefeated Lyle Beerbohm (15-0 MMA, 3-0 SF) and Pat Healy (25-17 MMA, 1-1 SF).
The Showtime-televised fight card takes place at Cedar Park Center in Cedar Park, Texas, a suburb of the state's capitol, Austin.
Tim Kennedy vs 'Mayhem' Miller rubber match at Strikeforce on March 5
Jason Miller finally found a homie that isn't scared.
After campaigning for a grudge match against hated rival Nick Diaz, "Mayhem" instead looks to be close to a rubber match against fellow Strikeforce middleweight contender Tim Kennedy when the promotion makes its March 5 debut in Columbus, Ohio.
Sources close to one of the fight camps alerted MMAmania.com to the pending match-up earlier today.
The mouthy middleweight mischief-maker split a pair of bouts against Kennedy when they threw hands at Extreme Challenge 50 back in 2003 (L) and HDNet Fights "Reckless Abandon" nearly four years later (W).
Scott Coker considering Canada, Japan for Strikeforce grand-prix host sites
Two international destinations are on the radar for Strikeforce's upcoming heavyweight grand-prix tournament.
Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker this past week told MMAjunkie.com Radio (www.mmajunkie.com/radio) that both Ontario, Canada, and Tokyo are under consideration as host cities for the Showtime-televised competition, which kicks off Feb. 12 at the IZOD Center in East Rutherford, N.J.
"This is a world grand-prix tournament, which means we might not just be in the United States," Coker said. "This thing could be traveling."
Ex-UFC champ Shane Carwin may train with Strikeforce's Fedor Emelianenko
Two of the world's top heavyweights may cross promotional boundaries and one big ocean for some training.
In a recent media call promoting his Feb. 12 fight with Antonio Silva, Strikeforce grand-prix entrant and famed veteran Fedor Emelianenko said his fight camp will be based in his native Russia but that he'd like to train with someone such as Shane Carwin.
The U.S.-based Carwin said it'd be an "honor."
In a forum post on The Underground, Carwin, a former interim champ who nearly defeated then-titleholder Brock Lesnar in 2010, explains his affinity for the former PRIDE great.
"Fedor has been a good guy to me," he wrote. "After the Lesnar fight, he sent me some very kind words that put things into perspective. He is a great guy and a great fighter.
"I am going to be traveling for training this time around. I want to take in as much MMA as I can. I hope to make it out to Duke [Roufus'] and maybe even a trip to Russia if all things go as planned."
Marc Stevens vs. John Cholish set for "Strikeforce and M-1 Global: Fedor vs. Silva"
"The Ultimate Fighter 12" veteran Marc Stevens (12-5 MMA, 0-0 SF) is expected to meet Renzo Gracie pupil John Cholish (5-1 MMA, 0-0 SF) in a preliminary card fight at "Strikeforce and M-1 Global: Fedor vs. Silva."
MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) learned from sources close to the negotiations that verbal agreements are in place for the bout with contracts expected shortly.
"Strikeforce and M-1 Global: Fedor vs. Silva" takes place Feb. 12 at the IZOD Center in East Rutherford, N.J., and features the quarterfinals of the promotion's eight-man heavyweight grand prix.
The event's televised main card airs on Showtime and features Fedor Emelianenko vs. Antonio "Bigfoot" Silva and Andrei Arlovski vs. Sergei Kharitonov.
Silva: Fedor’s ‘Main Weakness’ Lies in Ground Game
Despite Fedor Emelianenko’s loss to Fabricio Werdum in June, Antonio Silva (Pictured) still views the Russian fighter as MMA’s top heavyweight. However, that does not mean Silva will not try to take a page from his countryman’s playbook when the Brazilian “Bigfoot” meets the “Last Emperor” in the opening round of Strikeforce’s heavyweight grand prix.
“The one thing I have in my mind is: Werdum showed the world [Fedor’s] holes on the ground. I think his main weakness is there,” Silva said during Thursday’s media conference call to promote Strikeforce “Fedor vs. Silva” on Feb. 12 at the Izod Center in East Rutherford, N.J.
“It’s very hard to define how the fight’s gonna be. I’m gonna follow the waves, and if the fight’s good for me in the stand-up, I’m gonna keep it standing up,” Silva added. “He’s a complete fighter. I’m a complete fighter. I’m going to capitalize on anything the fight gives to me.”
Josh Barnett out to take states by storm
While Strikeforce was in the process of putting together its heavyweight tournament, some high-profile participants requested specific opponents. No one requested a fight with Josh Barnett.
It wasn't that the higher-profile fighters -- including Fedor Emelianenko and Alistair Overeem -- sought to avoid him. In their minds, they simply had bigger fish to fry.
Emelianenko will take on Antonio Silva on Feb. 12 in Newark, N.J. Overeem is slated to face Fabricio Werdum on a date that has yet to be determined.
When the brackets were finalized, Barnett found himself in the less appealing group. That he isn't in the same group with Emelianenko, Overeem and Werdum reveals how much Barnett's star has dimmed.
Fedor: 'I Never Believed I Was the Best Fighter in the World'
Heavyweight great Fedor Emelianenko will leave it up to observers and pundits to determine who the No. 1 heavyweight in the world is following the conclusion of the 2010 Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix.
Should the winner of the tournament be ranked higher than the UFC heavyweights?
"That's probably something the specialists and commentators should decide," Fedor said Thursday on a conference call promoting his upcoming quarterfinal bout against Antonio Silva.
Strikeforce Clarifies HW Tournament Rules
While the buzz surrounding Strikeforce's recently announced heavyweight grand prix has been immense, understanding of the specifics of the tourney has been a bit less than ideal. Today, Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker clarified many of the questions that needed to be addressed. First up, Alistair Overeem's title will not be on the line in the tournament. And while there were some suggestions that every fight in the tournament would be contested as five-round affairs, instead, that will only happen in the grand prix finals, when a newly created Strikeforce heavyweight grand prix title will be on the line. "All quarterfinal and semifinal matches will be scheduled for three, five-minute rounds," Coker said. "The tournament final will be five, five-minute rounds for the Strikeforce world grand prix championship." Strikeforce's heavyweight grand prix, featuring such luminaries as Strikeforce heavyweight champion Alistair Overeem, former UFC champions Andrei Arlovski and Josh Barnett, PRIDE great Fedor Emelianenko, and others, kicks off on Feb. 12 at "Strikeforce and M-1 Global: Fedor vs. Silva," which takes place at the IZOD Center in East Rutherford, N.J. With the heavyweight grand prix set up as an eight-man, multi-night, single-elimination tournament, draws could prove problematic along the way. In order to address that, Coker said a fourth judge will be on hand in each fight to determine which fighter will advance from the tie. "If any fight results in a draw, an independent fourth judge will determine who advances or who wins based on the fighter's overall performance in the fight," Coker said. "We will have a fourth judge on hand scoring the fight independently of the three that we normally have." The final question mark in terms of tournament format involved potential injuries to the eight competitors. If a winner suffers a serious issue, who continues on in the bracket? "If a fighter qualifies to advance in the tournament but for any reason can not advance, we're forming a five-person tournament-review committee who will select a fighter to advance in his place," Coker said. "This fighter will be chosen from a pool of fighters that will include the previous opponent and the winners of reserve matches."
As Movie Release Nears, Scott Coker Expects Gina Carano Back Soon
Stop me if you've heard this one before: Scott Coker thinks Gina Carano will return to Strikeforce sooner rather than later.
Of course you have. But this time, he really believes it's going to happen.
That's what the Strikeforce CEO said again on Monday's episode of The MMA Hour. If you recall, Coker said back in October 2009 that Carano would return to action "probably towards the summertime" of 2010.