Barnett: UFC champ Velasquez is good, but Strikeforce tourney winner better
Everyone and his brother has weighed in on who's the world's best MMA heavyweight, and given Strikeforce's upcoming and star-studded heavyweight grand prix, the debate won't stop anytime soon.
Josh Barnett, an entrant in the tourney, understandably thinks the world's No. 1 heavyweight will be the Strikeforce grand-prix winner.
But that's no shot at UFC champ Cain Velasquez, Barnett recently told MMAjunkie.com Radio (www.mmajunkie.com/radio).
In fact, Barnett has nothing but respect for Velasquez, who's rehabbing a shoulder he injured in an October title win over then-champ Brock Lesnar. Barnett admires how Velasquez has blended his new striking skills with his wrestling foundation during an undefeated career, and he doesn't question the champ's toughness.
Josh Barnett: What Happens In The Locker Room Stays In The Locker Room, I'm No Snitch
So he says. "I think everybody is doing whatever they can to get an edge on their opponent, no matter what, be it taking anything whether it's illegal or legal. Is it working? I don't really know. I don't think so. I wouldn't know (a percentage of fighters using PEDs) and even if I did I wouldn't say even if I did. ... I'm a big proponent of 'What happens in the locker room stays in the locker room.' I'm no snitch. But I fought when there wasn't regulatory bodies, and I fought guys who were way jacked to the gills (on steroids). I never cared – I just fought them anyways. I don't care what pill you take or what shot or what new supplement or what diet you do. There's only so much of anything that can really ever help you, and the rest of it is whether you've got it or you don't." He also still cliams he's never taken steroids despite failing 3 post-fight PED tests.
Strikeforce Heavyweight Tournament: Possible Pay-Per-View, Canadian Debut
"The tournament is going to deliver our biggest shows yet. At some point this year, we will be in the pay-per-view business and having this tournament out there is a big step in that direction."
Dates and venues for the semifinal and finale events have not been solidified. ... Coker said Strikeforce is exploring holding one of the events in Montreal or Toronto, which would mark the promotion’s debut on Canadian soil.
Pat Barry: I don't know how anyone is going to stop Alistair 'The Monster' Overeem
"The dude is a monster. That’s what I think. Not only is he humongous, (but) he’s extremely experienced. That’s what makes him the most dangerous. Not just the size, but he has so much experience in MMA and in kickboxing, and he’s a Dutch trained kickboxer. I was in Amsterdam for five years. I know what the Dutch train like out there... He doesn’t seem to get tired. All he needs to do is hit you one time. He’s fast, he’s athletic, and he’s strong as hell. He’s everything you need all in one body... The dude is a monster. I don’t know how anyone is going to stop him any time soon."
Coker Wants to Match Melendez Against Kawajiri
Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker wants lightweight champion Gilbert Melendez to defend his title next against Tatsuya Kawajiri.
“We’re definitely having that conversation,” Coker said Wednesday on the Sherdog Radio Network’s “Beatdown” show. “I’m going to try to work that out and get Kawajiri in there with Gilbert. I think that that’s a fight we’re interested in.”
Melendez outpointed Kawajiri in a December 2006 encounter in Pride. The Japanese fighter has lost just twice since, and last week he earned a unanimous decision over former Strikeforce lightweight champ Josh Thomson.
Nick Diaz Talks Point Fighting - "They Play a Game to Win"
"(Nate Diaz) is a lot better than that guy (Dong Hyun Kim). You could see it in that fight. (Nate) won on damage. At the end of that fight, that guy was real banged up, you know? Taking some hard shots to the eye, to the face. My brother hadn't taken any shots."
"I used to come in running in a lot, and getting overly aggressive. You get that way, because you (get caught up in trying to) win on damage. You're fighting a different fight. One guy's trying to win the round, one guy's trying to win the fight."
Fabricio Werdum Isn't Happy About "Giving" Alistair Overeem a Rematch
Two-time BJJ world champion, two-time ADCC champion, and UFC and Pride veteran Fabricio Werdum shocked the world when he choked out Fedor Emelianenko in 2010. Now he'll challenge Alistair Overeem for the Strikeforce title in the first round of their heavyweight tournament.
Technically, your side of the key is stronger, is where the favorites are. Why do you think that Strikeforce matched the fights this way?
I believe they did it that way so that they can sell many pay-per-view subscriptions on the semifinals and on the finale. They're betting I'll beat Overeem and that Fedor beats Big Foot, because they know everybody wants that rematch. So, they want to guarantee a good semifinal so that they sell it out and they're betting on it. Who doesn't want to watch a rematch like this one?
Did Strikeforce Drop The Ball With Their Challengers Show On Showtime Free Preview Weekend?
In a recent post on his blog, veteran WWE announcer Jim Ross thinks so. "The Strikeforce broadcast produced by Showtime Friday night was embarrassingly mediocre. This statement is not a reflection on fighters phoning it in or the announcing soiling the bed. The fighters fought hard but none of them were household names and really needed pre-produced, personality profiles and more info on who they are from the announcers to let casual fans 'in' the process so that we could care more about the fights and the overall broadcast. On a free preview night on Showtime, the network really dropped the ball in making the fighters human as well as apparently forgetting that Showtime was going to have a much ballyhooed heavyweight tournament in 2011 on which they seem to be hanging their hat."
StrikeForce Challengers 13 recap: Woodley tops Saffiedine, St. Preux wins again
Tyron Woodley knew fellow welterweight Tarec Saffiedine would be one of his toughest opponents yet, so understandably, he needed a win-first gameplan.
So, his gravity-defying slams and lunging strikes were put on the shelf. Still, the fast-rising welterweight prospect remains undefeated with a unanimous-decision victory on Friday night.
The bout headlined Strikeforce Challengers 13, which aired on Showtime from Nashville Municipal Auditorium in Nashville, Tenn.
Do PRIDE Rules Make Fights More Exciting To Watch?
Strikeforce's Nick Diaz thinks so. "That's why I like dealing with Pride rules. I thought that there would be an organization that has that type of scoring criteria. I thought that show would stick around; I'd probably be fighting for them right now. But that whole thing went under. They kind of want to do away with that whole way of fighting, even though it's been around for a long time. The restarts and the old Pride rules, it's better. The yellow card (if) you stall. You can't stall. You have to fight. You can't elbow. You have to punch. It takes a lot of space. A guy on the bottom wants to get up, he gets up because you're making space to punch. It makes for a more technical aspect to come out. It makes more for more transition and movement to happen. It's more exciting to watch and it makes for the better fighter to win. The way that things are going now, you don't (always) see the better fighter win. They play a game to win."
Showtime offers free preview weekend, Strikeforce Challengers 13 included
Looking for some live MMA on TV this weekend but haven't made the commitment to subscribe to Showtime yet?
Don't worry. The premium cable channel has you covered.
"Strikeforce Challengers 13: Saffiedine vs. Woodley" airs on Showtime Friday night, and Showtime is being made available for free to 61 million households.
The Showtime All Access Free Preview Weekend begins Friday, Jan. 7 and runs through Monday, Jan. 10.
Cable and satellite television subscribers will have free access to Showtime, Showtime HD and Showtime on Demand, though not all services are available in all areas. Subscribers are advised to call their local service providers to find out what services will be offered in their area, or to advise their provider if they do not wish to receive the programming.
Fabricio Werdum Says He's Going To Make Alistair Overeem Go To Sleep
That according to Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker in the upcoming Heavyweight tournament. "Alistair asked for Fabricio, personally. When I was in Japan last week, he said, ‘You’ve got to let me fight Fabricio. I want to avenge that loss. It’s important.’ So that was an easy fight to put together. Werdum says he’s going to make Alistair go to sleep."
Olympians applying skills to new arena
It has been more than six years since Rhadi Ferguson represented the United States in judo at the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, Greece, and chances are the Coconut Creek, Fla., native -- now 35 -- will never compete at the Olympics again.
Still, that doesn't make him a former Olympian. That term doesn't even exist, in Ferguson's opinion. As far as he's concerned, you're either an Olympian or you're not.
"There's no such thing as a former Olympian," Ferguson told ESPN.com. "Once an Olympian, always an Olympian. That can never be taken away."
Strikeforce Expects to Promote Pay-Per-View in 2011
Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker expects his company to take a major step forward this year.
“I believe by the end of this year, we will be in the pay-per-view business,” he said Wednesday on the Sherdog Radio Network’s “Beatdown” show.
The recently announced eight-man heavyweight tournament has a role in Coker’s strategy to hit pay-per-view. Showtime regularly airs the promotion’s cards, and two Strikeforce events have also been shown on CBS. Coker said the first round of the heavyweight tournament will air on Showtime, but he’s keeping his options open for the semifinals and finals.
“I think that the goal with this tournament is to eventually work its way into the pay-per-view business,” Coker said.
Scott Coker: We (Strikeforce) Have The Best HW Division In MMA"
At least he thinks so. "To me the fans are always going to think what they want. I've always known we have the best heavyweight division in mixed martial arts. I had this in my back pocket. I don't really gauge what's going out in the viral world, the virtual world. I just know that this is a special moment in time. All these heavyweight fighters are here and in their youth, young enough to compete at high levels. We're going to let them all fight each other and this is the best way to do it."
Devin Cole Plans To Make Most of Second Chance at Strikeforce Challengers
Second chances aren’t always easy to come by, and heavyweight Devin Cole knows this.
After achieving immediate success in the IFL, Cole went through a rough patch in his career which left him out of the spotlight, looking for one more opportunity.
As Cole himself admitted to MMAWeekly.com, “The IFL was definitely a big time (opportunity), in fact, I was offered a UFC contract right after I beat Travis Wiuff, in between the first and second seasons of the IFL, and I actually turned it down to stay with the IFL.
With Help From UFC Champ, Daniel Cormier Readies for Strikeforce Big Guns
The news of Strikeforce's upcoming heavyweight tournament was a bombshell development for a company still working on prying eyes from the UFC. And it's also a welcome scenario for the Strikeforce athletes, who are well aware of the extra spotlight it is likely to bring, even to fighters who are not part of the field.
One such fighter who may receive added attention from it is Daniel Cormier, an undefeated fighter who is among a group of rising stars in Strikeforce's heavyweight ranks.
Visa issues force Cherdivara out; Ferguson faces Richard at Strikeforce Challengers 13
Canadian Ion Cherdivara has encountered difficulties in securing a visa and has been forced to withdraw from this weekend's Strikeforce Challengers 13 event.
Stepping in on short notice is South Carolina's John Richard (3-1 MMA, 0-0 SF), who now takes on former Olympic judoka Rhadi Ferguson (2-0 MMA, 0-0 SF) on the main card of the Showtime-televised event.
Featuring an intriguing welterweight fight between Tarec Saffiedine and Tyron Woodley, Strikeforce Challengers 13 takes place Friday, Jan. 7, at Nashville Municipal Auditorium in Nashville, Tenn.
Strikeforce HW tournament bracket unveiled
By Josh Gross
Updated: January 4, 2011, 10:05 PM ET
Following months of speculation, Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker's desire to promote a single-elimination heavyweight tournament in 2011 has come to fruition. Showtime, which expects to televise each of the event's three legs, revealed opening-round matches and the tournament bracket Tuesday.
"It's a long, grueling process as we know with these tournaments, and whoever comes out on top will be the reigning Strikeforce heavyweight champion," said Ken Hershman, executive vice president and general manager of Showtime Sports.
Beginning Feb. 12 at the IZOD Center in East Rutherford, N.J., four of the eight fighters signed up for the main draw will compete in first-round matchups.
Fedor Emelianenko (31-2) fights Antonio Silva (15-2) and Andrei Arlovski (15-8) is matched against Sergei Kharitonov (16-4).
The remaining quarterfinal fights will likely take place in April, Showtime and Strikeforce officials said. The event's date and location are yet to be determined. Current Strikeforce heavyweight champion Alistair Overeem (33-11) will meet Fabricio Werdum (14-4-1), and Brett Rogers (11-2) tangles with Josh Barnett (29-5).
Fedor Emelianenko Signs Contract Extension, Will Face Antonio Silva
A rumored Fedor Emelianenko vs. Antonio Silva fight is expected to be announced imminently, sources with knowledge of the situation have confirmed to MMA Fighting.
As part of the announcement, Strikeforce, Showtime and M-1 will announce that Emelianenko has signed a multi-fight extension that will guarantee his participation in a Strikeforce heavyweight tournament set to begin on Feb. 12.