Coker Doesn’t Care What M-1 Wants, Says Fedor Will Fight Overeem, Bigfoot or Kharitonov Next
Despite claims by Fabricio Werdum’s manager that his client’s impending elbow surgery is not as severe as initially reported and that he’ll be willing and able to get back in action later this year, Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker says a rematch with Fedor Emelianenko isn’t in the cards, at least not right now. Coker told Sherdog.com on Saturday that when he restarts negotiations about Fedor’s future with M-1 Global next week his short list of prospective opponents will include Alistair Overeem, Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva and Sergei Kharitonov.
As for M-1’s insistence that Emelianenko be granted an immediate rematch with Werdum in the wake of the Brazilian’s stunning victory over Fedor late last month, well, the suddenly badass Coker doesn’t appear to give a damn about that.
“I just don’t think they’ll have a choice,” he told Loretta Hunt.
Strikeforce Announces Bobby Lashley's Fight On 8/21
And it's not against Dave Batista. SF announced that former WWE standout Bobby Lashley will return to action at SF: Houston on August 21, and he will face Chad Griggs. An IFL & Rage In The Cage veteran, Griggs has an 8-1 career record and has finished all his fights by KO/TKO, but he's only fought once since 2007.
SF Aims For MW Tournament Kickoff In October
According to Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker, the promotion is still planning it's long-rumored Middleweight Tournament for later this year, possibly in October & December. “We always felt that crowning a champion would be the first priority,” said Coker. “We will host a tournament in October. It looks like the first round will take place then, which will lead to the final four in December.” Coker said recent reports that the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation had rejected Strikeforce’s request to hold a four-man tournament on Aug. 21 -- thus forcing the promotion to move to a single championship bout -- weren’t correct. In Texas, Coker said he only inquired about the tournament format with the commission, but was told it wouldn’t be allowed. The previously announced Tim Kennedy-Ronaldo Souza Middleweight Title match on 8/21 will still go on as planned.
Fabricio Werdum Elbow Surgery May Delay SF Return Until 2011
Coming off his upset victory over Fedor at the last Strikeforce event, Fabricio Werdum could be out until next year. After he holds some seminars in the near-future he's going under the knife. " After the seminars I will undergo a surgery on my elbow that I have put off for some time. We’re in July and I only want to come back 100-percent recovered. I think it’s hard to make it back this year due the physical therapy, conditioning and all else. Then I might just get back next year."
Smith Camp: Cung Le Owes Us A 3rd Fight
That's the opinion of Scott Smith's manager, Mike Roberts, who basically sounded like Dana White with regards to Smith's upcoming Strikeforce plans, including perhaps Smith being in the upcoming Middleweight tournament later this year. "I just sent a text message to Scott Coker today cause I keep hearing about this tournament. I sent him a text message today and I said we want in that tournament. There will be a third Cung Le fight. Cung owes it to us. We didn’t have to take this last fight. There was nothing for Scott to gain, nothing. It was only a (losing situation). The fans will want to see it again because for one thing, neither fight was boring."
Texas-Not Talent-Scratched SF MW Tournament
At the conclusion of his Strikeforce contract, middleweight champion Jake Shields opted to vacate his title to explore greener pastures under the Zuffa banner. The move would hardly be considered surprising, which is why Strikeforce officials had already begun discussions about a possible 185-pound tournament to crown his successor. Cung Le wanted out. No problem. Plans were soon in place to hold a four-man tournament at the upcoming "Houston" event on August 21 with Tim Kennedy, Ronaldo Souza, Robbie Lawler and Matt Lindland participating. Then on July 10, the promotion announced "Kennedy vs Souza" for the vacant division title. Just like that the tournament was kaput with no explanation. Fans and media speculated that perhaps Strikeforce just didn't have enough talent to fill the brackets. Not true. The real reason was the Texas Department Of Licensing & Regulation. From TDLR administrator Greg Alvarez: "[Strikeforce] asked if it was possible and I told them that when Tough Man was outlawed, the state also did away with tournaments back in 2001."
Aoki Wants Melendez Rematch At DREAM 16, SF Says Not Yet
After defeating Tatsuya Kawajiri via submission at DREAM 15 yesterday, Shinya Aoki announced that he would be returning at DREAM.16 and that he wants a rematch with Strikeforce Lightweight Champion Gilbert Melendez. But Strikeforce's Mike Afromowitz says not so fast: The rematch, which likely would be for one or both of the promotions' titles, has not been made yet and may not be-Melendez is out of action due to a hand injury.
SF Announces MW Title Fight For 8/21
Strikeforce has made it's plans to crown a new Middleweight Champion following the departure of Jake Shields, and it won't be a tournament. The promotion has annnounced a determination match for August 21 to crown a new champion, and it'll be Tim Kennedy vs. Ronaldo Souza. The fight will be the co-main event to the headliner, Strikeforce Light Heavyweight Champion Muhammad Lawal vs. Rafael Cavalcante (Feijao) for the title.
Joe Riggs vs. Louis Taylor, women's tourney on tap for Strikeforce Challengers 10
A 182-pound catchweight bout between veteran Joe Riggs (32-11 MMA, 3-3 SF) and Louis Taylor (6-1 MMA, 0-1 SF) is set for next month's Strikeforce Challengers 10 event.
Strikeforce spokesperson Mike Afromowitz today confirmed the fight with MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com).
In addition to that contest, Afromowitz said the event also features the start of the organization's 135-pound women's tourney.
Participants will be announced at a later date.
Dave Batista Training With Team Cesar Gracie as Strikeforce Mulls Batista vs Bobby Lashley
Former World Wrestling Entertainment star Dave Batista started a two-day training stint with the Cesar Gracie camp Wednesday after Strikeforce helped facilitate the connection with the potential signee and the noted California gym.
Gracie told Sherdog.com that Batista arrived this afternoon and is working technique drills with Nick and Nathan Diaz, Jake Shields and Gilbert Melendez in the Cesar Gracie gym in Lodi, Calif.
"We'll see how it goes," Gracie said. "If he wants to fight, we'll get him going."
Strikeforce Champion's Clause an Issue in Fedor Talks
Despite M-1 Global's claims that there's nothing left to negotiate before the third and final fight on Fedor Emelianenko's contract with Strikeforce, Strikeforce says at least one issue does need to be negotiated: A champion's clause in the contract that would prevent Fedor from leaving to fight in another promotion if he becomes the Strikeforce champion.
M-1 Global says it wants Fedor's next fight to be a rematch with Fabricio Werdum, who beat Fedor on June 26. But Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker has said that his preferred option for Fedor's next fight is a bout with Strikeforce heavyweight champion Alistair Overeem, and Strikeforce spokesman Mike Afromowitz told MMAFighting.com that a champion's clause is going to be negotiated.
Fedor Planning SF Return By November, M-1 Wants Werdum Rematch
And according to Vadim Finkelchtein, if SF wants to keep Fedor around they'll make that rematch happen. "We are ready to fight against anyone, but everyone agrees that the most interesting fight right now is the rematch against Fabricio Werdum. We have one fight left on our contract, so if Strikeforce want to extend it – they should listen to our opinion. Fedor will fight again sometime between October and November. I’ll repeat that again: the only thing fans want to see is Fedor vs Werdum II. Fabricio himself said that he would like to rematch Fedor in Russia. It’s great, but this fight will not happen in Russia ... I can really feel that the rating makers on the US websites really wanted Fedor Emelianenko to suffer from his first 'real' defeat. They now have Fedor in third Place, and the first is Brock Lesnar. Question: Who’s Brock Lesnar? He has only five professional fights, and one defeat. He is a marketable fighter because of his WWE past. They sell-out 60,000 stadiums for that crap, which no one would even consider watching in Russia. That’s why Brock Lesnar is popular. As for Fedor, he is not a marketable fighter – he’s just the best. He destroyed everyone during 10 years. He has 31 victories."
Jake Shields: Strikeforce Wants To Push "Has-Beens" Like Shamrock & Le-Not Great Young Fighters
Which seems to be one of the reasons that Jake Shields left the promotion for UFC. "I’m brand new to the UFC but they have treated me absolutely wonderful much better than Strikeforce to this point. They return my phone calls and I get seats unlike Strikeforce but so far things have been absolutely perfect. I don’t want to knock Strikeforce because that’s not my style even though they did treat me like **** which was unnecessary because I never talked bad about them. Honestly I would love to see Gilbert and Nick in the UFC. Even though Strikeforce is a good show, everyone knows it’s the number two show. They have a handful of good fighters but all the top competition is in the UFC and I feel that Nick and Gilbert are good enough to fight at the highest level. I just don’t see Strikeforce putting the marketing strength behind him as they didn’t for me. I feel like they (Strikeforce) want to go after the places that have already been built like Shamrock or Cung Le. They don’t seem really interested in building top young fighters in their prime. They had a great batch of young fighters like me, Nick, Gil and King Mo but they weren’t interested in great young fighters and instead all the push went to 'has beens' like Shamrock and Cung Le. It seemed like they wanted to push people who were no where near their prime."
Cavalcante SF Debut Probably In 60-90 Days
t's been a rough couple of years for Gesias "JZ" Cavalcante. After running roughshod through much of the lightweight division in Japan, Cavalcante suffered some serious injuries that kept him on the shelf, and possibly cost him wins in a couple of fights. Now back and healthy Cavalcante looks to get back to the top of the lightweight division fighting for Strikeforce. The Brazilian and American Top Team fighter hopes to debut there in the coming months. Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker says Cavalcante was offered a fight against Josh Thomson for the show that took place on June 26, but the timing didn't work out. Coker now hopes he can debut in the next 60-90 days.
Kharitonov's debut likely against Antonio Silva
Newly signed Strikeforce heavyweight Sergei Kharitonov could make his debut for the organization as early as August against American Top Team heavyweight Antonio "Bigfoot" Silva.
The news of Kharitonov's first Strikeforce appearance comes from CEO Scott Coker, who says they've already talked about that fight, and it could happen on the promotion’s Aug. 21 card slated for Houston.
Coker: Maybe Fedor Should Fight Overeem And Winner Gets Werdum
In other words, he's thinking that if you want a shot at the Strikeforce Heavyweight Title, all you have to do is earn a marquee fight and then just lose. "My feeling is maybe Fedor should fight Alistair Overeem and whoever wins that fight gets to fight Fabricio Werdum. I would love to see that fight too, Alistair and Fedor, I would love to see that fight happen. Here's the thing, we just saw Fedor fight Werdum; I'm not saying we couldn't do the rematch [Fedor vs. Werdum] first but I'm saying there are a couple options on the table. Until we sit down with M-1, we're just talking about different options and that [Fedor vs. Overeem] is one of the options."
Kennedy vs. Souza, Noons vs. Gurgel in Works for Strikeforce: Houston
Strikeforce is moving forward with its middleweight division since releasing their champion Jake Shields.
Mauro Ranallo reported on Thursday's edition of The Fight Show, that the organization is working towards putting together a middleweight fight between Tim Kennedy and Ronaldo "Jacare" Souza at Strikeforce: Houston on Aug. 21. Strikeforce hasn't decided whether the fight will be for the newly-vacated title or a part of the proposed 185-pound tournament.
Cung Le Out Of SF MW Tourney, Manhoef Eyed For Spot
With Cung Le opting not to participate in Strikeforce's upcoming Middleweight Title Tournament, the field may now get a bit more "Marvelous". Scott Coker says Le plans to stick to superfights and not participate, and as a result Coker will invite feared striker Melvin Manhoef to participate in the tournament. Coker said today that the shape of the tournament and number of events in which it will play out still are being decided.
SF Targeting Lawal vs. Feijao For 8/21
Having already announced that Strikeforce Light Heavyweight Champion Muhammad Lawal would first defend his title on 8/21, SF today announced a likely challenger for Lawal: Rafael Cavalcante (Feijao). A source says verbal agreements are in place, paperwork pending. Feijao has won his last 2 fights by KO following his first career loss and gets the shot in large part due to Renato Sobral passing it up to potentially face Dan Henderson instead.