'Strikeforce: Rockhold vs. Kennedy' salaries: Rockhold, Lawler top $646K payroll
Current Strikeforce middleweight champ Luke Rockhold and ex-champ Robbie Lawler took home the biggest paydays at "Strikeforce: Rockhold vs. Kennedy."
Newly minted Strikeforce welterweight champ Nate Marquardt was the third highest-paid fighter on the event's total payroll, which totaled $645,923.
MMAjunkie.com recently requested and received the list of official disclosed paydays from the Oregon State Athletic Commission.
Strikeforce talking to ex-champ Cristiane 'Cyborg' Santos about drop to bantamweight
The one-year suspension of Cristiane 'Cyborg' Santos (10-1 MMA, 4-0 SF) ends in mid-December, and Strikeforce officials are already looking at her next move.
It's a possible move down in weight to the bantamweight division, where next week's winner of champ Ronda Rousey vs. Sarah Kaufman could await.
"We'll have to talk to [Santos] at that time and see what her interest is as far as going down in weight," Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker today told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com). "I know it's something that (Strikeforce matchmaker) Sean (Shelby) has had dialogue about, fighting at 135."
Frank Mir Excited by Matchup With Daniel Cormier, Explains TRT Usage
Frank Mir was smack in the middle of taking the summer off to spend time with his family when the powers-that-be came to him with an unexpected offer. Just two months after unsuccessfully bidding for the UFC heavyweight championship, Mir was given an option to move over to sister company Strikeforce, just for one night, to face its recent Grand Prix winner, Daniel Cormier.
It was only months earlier when the UFC had asked B.J. Penn to move to Strikeforce and fight lightweight champion Gilbert Melendez, so while what they were asking him to do was not unprecedented, his answer was...
Bobby Green vs. Matt Ricehouse added to 'Strikeforce: Rousey vs. Kaufman'
Californian lightweight Bobby Green (18-5 MMA, 3-1 SF) seeks his fourth-straight victory when he meets undefeated prospect Matt Ricehoouse (6-0 MMA, 4-0 SF).
Strikeforce officials today announced the matchup, which is expected to take place on the preliminary portion of this month's "Strikeforce: Rousey vs. Kaufman" event.
"Strikeforce: Rousey vs. Kaufman" takes place Aug. 18 at Valley View Casino Center in San Diego and features a women's bantamweight title fight between champion Ronda Rousey and former titleholder Sarah Kaufman.
The main card airs on Showtime, and Showtime Extreme carries the prelims.
Former Strikeforce champ Rafael 'Feijao' Cavalcante to appeal suspension
Former Strikeforce light heavyweight champ Rafael "Feijao" Cavalcante (12-3 MMA, 4-2 SF) will appeal his one-year license suspension at the California State Athletic Commission's next meeting on Aug. 8.
Representing Cavalcante at the appeal will be a drug expert who witnessed the testing of the fighter's "B" sample and a lawyer, Soares said.
Cavalcante's camp decided to appeal the suspension after the second test, which was conducted June 26. The CSAC employs the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) test facility at UCLA in Los Angeles for drug testing.
The CSAC suspended Cavalcante in mid-June when a pre-fight drug test revealed the presence of stanozolol, a steroid.
Mir books Strikeforce fight vs. Cormier
USA TODAY Sports confirmed with UFC and Strikeforce officials that Mir has agreed to meet Strikeforce grand prix winner and former two-time Olympic wrestler Daniel Cormier (10-0 MMA, 7-0 SF) in the co-main event of September's Strikeforce: Melendez vs. Healy fight card, on Sept. 29 at Power Balance Pavilion in Sacramento, and airs on Showtime.
Not So Fast: Dana White Says Tim Sylvia Not Fighting for UFC or Strikeforce
Is he or isn’t he?
Despite earlier reports, including one from us at MMAWeekly.com, former UFC heavyweight champion Tim Sylvia is not going to be facing Daniel Cormier under the Strikeforce banner on Sept. 29 in Sacramento, Calif.
UFC president Dana White on Thursday said that Sylvia was not headed to Strikeforce, but an initial Friday report by MMAJunkie.com, which our sources backed, indicated that Sylvia was indeed headed into a fight with Cormier.
Late Friday evening, however, White talked to MMA.tv, who reported that “White said the signing was never announced, and that ‘long story, but yes, Tim is not with Zuffa.’”White commented on Twitter, shooting down the Tim Sylvia signing.
There were apparently negotiations going on, at least according to our sources, but regardless of the details, the fact remains that White is sticking by his original statement that Sylvia is not going to be fighting under the Zuffa umbrella at either the UFC or Strikeforce.
Tim Sylvia vs Daniel Cormier, September 29
Sources close to the event today told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) that Sylvia (30-7 MMA, 9-4 UFC) has signed a deal and will fight recent Strikeforce heavyweight grand prix champion Daniel Cormier (10-0 MMA, 7-0 SF) at an event planned for Sept. 29 at Power Balance Pavilion in Sacramento, Calif.
Lumumba Sayers vs. Anthony Smith added to August's 'Strikeforce: Rousey vs. Kaufman'
A middleweight matchup between heavy-handed sluggers Lumumba Sayers (6-2 MMA, 2-1 SF) and Anthony Smith (16-8 MMA, 1-1 SF) has been added to August's "Strikeforce: Rousey vs. Kaufman" event.
Strikeforce officials today announced the new contest, which is expected to take place on the evening's preliminary card.
"Strikeforce: Rousey vs. Kaufman" takes place Aug. 18 at Valley View Casino Center in San Diego and features a women's bantamweight title fight between champion Ronda Rousey and former titleholder Sarah Kaufman. The main card airs on Showtime, and Showtime Extreme carries the prelims.
'Strikeforce: Rockhold vs. Kennedy' ratings: Event averages 420,000 Showtime viewers
Ratings for this past weekend's "Strikeforce: Rockhold vs. Kennedy" event were largely in tune with this year's average.
The July 13 event averaged 420,000 viewers on Showtime, MMAjunkie.com today confirmed with industry sources.
The event took place at the Rose Garden in Portland, Ore. In the co-headliners, Luke Rockhold defeated Tim Kennedy to defend his middleweight title, and Nate Marquardt stopped Tyron Woodley to claim Strikeforce's vacant welterweight title.
Pat Healy: ‘I’ve Earned a (Strikeforce) Title Shot’
“I think I’m putting together a lot of momentum and my game is real solid right now,” said Healy. “I think I’ll be a tough fight for anybody. I think I’ve earned a title shot – more so than anybody in Strikeforce – so I’d really like to see me getting a shot at Gil.
“I’m definitely not saying its Gil or nothing. If (Strikeforce feels) like I need to do another fight, that’s what I’ll do. I’m a fighter and I’ll fight whoever they put in front of me, but I feel like I’ve done enough. If they don’t, I’ll fight whoever I have to.”
Showtime Sports Boss Denies Existence of List of Strikeforce Fighters Blocked From UFC
Showtime Sports president Stephen Espinoza on Monday denied the existence of a list of Strikeforce fighters that are banned from signing with the UFC during the lifetime of the Strikeforce-Showtime deal.
Over the weekend, veteran MMA journalist Dave Meltzer reported that Showtime and Strikeforce and UFC parent company Zuffa had agreed to a list of fighters who could not cross promotional boundaries from Strikeforce to the UFC, even if their contracts expired, making them free agents. According to him, fighters including Gilbert Melendez, Luke Rockhold and Ronda Rousey were on the list.
On Monday's edition of The MMA Hour, Espinoza said the report was erroneous.
Espinoza said that because Showtime isn't an MMA promoter, they have no existing deals with fighters that can limit their movement. What they do have is a contract with Zuffa that allows them to broadcast the talent pool of Strikeforce-contracted talent.
"That roster of talent at the point we entered into the contract is attached to our contract informationally," he said. "But all this stuff about controlling people when they’re free agents and things like that, that’s not true."
Espinoza did acknowledge that the UFC could not bring Melendez or any other fighter over from Strikeforce if that fighter had existing fights on his current Strikeforce deal.
"Putting it in context, that’s the case for all other MMA promotions, that's the case for all other professional sports," he said. "If you're under contract in MLS you can't go sign in the European league. If you're under contract in the NBA, you cant go sign in another league while you're under contract with the NBA. It's the same thing. While you're under contract to Strikeforce, you can't go sign a contract with another organization."
Strikeforce's Pat Healy credits sensory-deprivation tank for weekend win
Pat Healy had to climb into a tank and cut off all sound and sight before the magnitude of this past weekend's Strikeforce fight really hit him.
"I went in there the morning of the fight ... and I didn't really realize how nervous I was until I was in there," he today told MMAjunkie.com Radio of his flotation/sensory-deprivation tank. "I was thinking about my fight, and my heart was racing.
"It really took me 20 or 30 minutes in there before I started calming down."
Twelve hours before he met Japanese standout Mizuto Hirota (14-5-1 MMA, 0-1 SF) at the July 14 "Strikeforce: Rockhold vs. Kennedy" card this past weekend, Healy (28-16 MMA, 6-1 SF) plunged into the tank for a 90-minute float. It helped the veteran lightweight clear his mind ahead of the preliminary-card fight, which aired on Showtime Extreme from the Rose Garden in Portland, Ore.
It also helped lead to an eventual unanimous-decision victory and his fifth straight win under the Strikeforce banner.
Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker looking forward to Roger Gracie's MMA progression
One look at Keith Jardine's face, sliced open and a bloody mess on Saturday, and it was obvious his opponent was more than just some jiu-jitsu player looking to latch onto an arm.
Though Roger Gracie couldn't submit Jardine at "Strikeforce: Rockhold vs. Kennedy," and even got a little bit of a late challenge from him, Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker said he's looking forward to giving the middleweight a chance to move up the ladder.
"He's by far the No. 1 grappler in that weight class," Coker said. "Let's see how he progresses – we're going to get him some more fights."
Luke Rockhold unsatisfied with Strikeforce title defense, but wants rematch with 'Jacare'
Despite winning four rounds and defending his title for the second time, Luke Rockhold was less than thrilled with his win over Tim Kennedy.
Rockhold on Saturday defended his Strikeforce middleweight belt, taking a unanimous decision from Kennedy in the main event of "Strikeforce: Rockhold vs. Kennedy." But he said afterward he was kept frustrated most of the fight by his opponent.
"It just wasn't my best night and I like to be better every time," Rockhold told MMAjunkie.com at the post-fight news conference. "I wanted to finish the fight and I couldn't. He's tough. What can I say?"