Strikeforce winner Ryan Couture: 'Someday I want that belt'
Don't get him wrong: Strikeforce fighter Ryan Couture realizes he's got a long way to go before he's in the conversation for a lightweight title shot.
"But the ultimate goal is to win that Strikeforce belt and maybe a UFC belt at some point," Couture told MMAjunkie.com. "So I've just got to keep getting better and passing these tests, and eventually we'll be there."
Couture took one small step closer toward that end with another high-profile win on the preliminary-card of "Strikeforce: Rockhold vs. Kennedy" when he outpointed Bellator vet Joe Duarte.
Ronda Rousey, Luke Rockhold, Other Strikeforce Fighters Reportedly Contractually Blocked From Moving To UFC; Updated With Dana White's Denial
Dave Meltzer's latest podcast has a bit of shocking news that we'd not heard to this point when it comes to Strikeforce fighters. In the wake of last night's Strikeforce show that saw Luke Rockhold retain his Strikeforce middleweight title, Dave was discussing the idea of fighters in Strikeforce fighting the best in the UFC when he said the words "but that can't happen because of the deal with Showtime."
He went on to explain that this was the result of Showtime's paranoia over having Alistair Overeem, Nick Diaz and Dan Henderson lost to the UFC (all through slightly different circumstances):
"They made this list of guys and they said 'these are our guys' and, even if their contract expires, they can't move to UFC. That's part of their deal with keeping this alive. So these guys are stuck."
"He [Gilbert Melendez] couldn't go to UFC. He could go to Bellator if he wanted to, but he couldn't go to the UFC...
There's a list of guys, not everyone on Showtime is on the list, but Ronda Rousey is on the list, Gilbert Melendez is on the list, Luke Rockhold is on the list...
It's for as long as Showtime broadcasts MMA."
UPDATE: Meltzer clarified the Rousey situation:
I think it's important that we understand that this could be a misunderstanding, could be fact, could be somewhere in the middle. Meltzer has talked to people about it, it appears that if it is not the case, that some people think it is. Discuss it with that in mind.
Well, that didn't take long. UFC president Dana White tweeted earlier today that he was on his way to Australia for the the first episode of TUF: UK vs. Australia. Not long after he got there, he responded to Dave Meltzer's report regarding a deal that Zuffa made with Showtime that will see a collection of Strikeforce fighters staying with the organization as long as the two organizations continue to work together. Cindy O on the UG asked Dana if it was true, and he responded by text:
"idk wtf melzers problem is! Has this guy lost his mind? That is absolutely not true!"
New Strikeforce champ Nate Marquardt: 'I feel like I'm the best in the world'
Nate Marquardt's confidence is at an all-time high following a fourth-round knockout of Tyron Woodley that won him the Strikeforce welterweight title.
"I really feel like it's my time," he told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) following "Strikeforce: Rockhold vs. Kennedy." "I'm one of the best in the world, and actually, I feel like I'm the best in the world, the best welterweight."
Now, the question is what awaits him as champion.
Marquardt, for his part, didn't have an answer at the post-event press conference. But he appeared no less confident that another tough challenge is on the horizon.
"This is a sport where everybody at this level is going to be tough," he said. "But I feel like I'm the best in the world, and that's who I expect I'll be fighting for my next fight – is one of the best in the world."
Strikeforce: Rockhold Vs Kennedy Results
Champ Luke Rockhold def. Tim Kennedy via unanimous decision (49-46, 49-46, 49-46)
Nate Marquardt def. Tyron Woodley via knockout (elbows, punches) – Round 4, 1:39
Roger Gracie def. Keith Jardine via unanimous decision (29-27, 30-27, 30-26)
Lorenz Larkin def. Robbie Lawler via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Pat Healy def. Mizuto Hirota via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
Ryan Couture def. Joe Duarte via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
Jorge Masvidal def. Justin Wilcox via split decision (28-29, 29-28, 30-27)
Jordan Mein def. Tyler Stinson via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Jason High def. Nate Moore, submission (guillotine choke) – Round 1, 0:26
Showtime announces Sept. 29 Strikeforce card, including Daniel Cormier
After its August show in San Diego, Strikeforce will bring a fall show to Sacramento.
The promotion will host a Sept. 29 card at Power Balance Pavilion, formerly the ARCO Arena, in the California state capital. The card was announced Saturday during the Showtime broadcast of "Strikeforce: Rockhold vs. Kennedy."
Though a precise headliner wasn't announced, Strikeforce heavyweight grand prix winner Daniel Cormier will be on the card, likely in the main event.
'Strikeforce: Rockhold vs. Kennedy' preview: A highly underrated card
Rightfully so, eyes should be locked on the two title fights that grace "Strikeforce: Rockhold vs. Kennedy."
Luke Rockhold attempts the second defense of his middleweight title when he meets Tim Kennedy, and Nate Marquardt and Tyron Woodley vie for the vacant welterweight belt.
But with the end of the promotion's prospects-driven Challenger series, there is less real estate on this year's schedule. In the case of Saturday's card, that means lineups more densely packed with talent.
Strikeforce champ Melendez to be offered fourth Thomson fight, Healy on deck
The outcome of several fights slated for "Strikeforce: Rockhold vs. Kennedy" could play a big part in Josh Thomson's next move.
But in the meantime, the former lightweight champ told MMAjunkie.com Radio (www.mmajunkie.com/radio). that Strikeforce plans to offer current champ Gilbert Melendez a fourth fight against him.
"From my understanding, they're going to offer him the rematch, and if it doesn't happen, it's not because of me," Thomson said. "I just want everyone to understand that."
If Melendez (21-2 MMA, 11-1 SF) declines, Thomson (19-5 MMA, 10-2 SF) said Pat Healy (27-16 MMA, 5-1 SF), who meets DEEP champion Mizuto Hirota (14-4-1 MMA, 0-0 SF) on the preliminary-card of Saturday's event, is on deck as the next contender should he be victorious.
Lorenz Larkin hopes win over Lawler puts him in reach of Strikeforce middleweight title
It's not hard for Lorenz Larkin to imagine his fight with Robbie Lawler being the kind that delivers the proverbial fireworks.
"That's what everyone's been saying, so I'm sure it does (have fireworks written all over it)," Larkin on Thursday told MMAjunkie.com Radio (www.mmajunkie.com/radio).
But most importantly to Larkin (12-0 MMA, 3-0 SF), he hopes a win over Lawler (19-8 MMA, 3-4 SF) – and an impressive one – could make him the next top contender for Strikeforce middleweight title.
Larkin and Lawler meet on the main card of "Strikeforce: Rockhold vs. Kennedy" on Saturday at Rose Garden Arena in Portland, Ore. Main-card fights air live on Showtime with prelims on Showtime Extreme.
Fighters bemoan lack of promotion prior to 'Strikeforce: Rockhold vs. Kennedy'
Heading out of the Rose Quarter toward I-84 east, there's a billboard advertising an MMA event on Saturday.
It's not for "Strikeforce: Rockhold vs. Kennedy," which occupies the 20,000-seat arena that night and features two world title fights of world-class caliber.
Instead, it's for Caged Combat 6, which takes place about 40 miles down the road at Spirit Mountain Casino in a 1,750-seat event center. There are four billboards around Portland advertising the event. Two days from the show, 1,500 tickets have been sold, according to its promoter, Charles Grijalva.
UFC Insitutes Formal Written Drug Policy
The UFC and Strikeforce earlier this week held their fourth Fighter Summit in Las Vegas where company officials and special guests worked to educate fighters on a number of issues from health insurance to dealing with the press to social media and numerous other topics.
One of the key points hit on at the Fighter Summit was the UFC’s new formalized written policy against performance enhancing drugs and other banned substances.
Lawrence Epstein, the company’s Executive Vice-President and General Counsel, explained the written policy is a continuation of existing policy, and that both promotions will follow guidelines drafted by the same law firm that advises the National Football League on PEDs.
“It is important to continue educating our athletes on the dangers of PEDs and other banned substances,” said Epstein. “Additionally, no new UFC or Strikeforce promotional agreement will become effective before the athlete has provided a clean PED test result.
Dana White Might Consider Women’s MMA in the UFC If They Can Find More Like Ronda Rousey
There appears to be a crack opening in UFC President Dana White’s stance about women’s MMA hitting the Octagon, but it’s going to take some serious science to make it happen.
White has always maintained the stance that until there is a lot more depth in the women’s division, he could never envision a time when the ladies would share the same stage as the men inside the UFC Octagon.
“I love Ronda Rousey. I don’t know where women’s MMA is going,” White admitted.
“She’s the example, she’s the level, we get a bunch of women at her level we’ll see what happens.”
Strikeforce champ Rousey enlists Lucia Rijker as striking coach ahead of Kaufman bout
Amid the stir Ronda Rousey caused with her outspoken persona and title-winning fight against Miesha Tate, UFC president Dana White recently wondered whether she would become the Lucia Rijker of MMA – a dominant champ on a too-small stage.
As Rousey prepares for her first title defense, Rijker can now weigh in on that question.
Rousey manager Darin Harvey today told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) that the Strikeforce women's bantamweight champion has enlisted the famed kickboxer and boxer as a coach.
Rousey (5-0 MMA, 3-0 SF) meets Sarah Kaufman (15-1 MMA, 6-1 SF) at "Strikeforce: Rousey vs. Kaufman," which takes place Aug. 18 at Valley View Casino Center in San Diego. The event's main card airs live on Showtime while preliminary-card fights air on Showtime Extreme.
Miesha Tate Draws Julie Kedzie as Opponent at Strikeforce: Rousey vs. Kaufman
It appears former Strikeforce women’s bantamweight champion Miesha Tate will get to be on another card with rival Ronda Rousey.
This time however they will not be facing each other as Tate will return to action on the same card as Rousey when she faces long time MMA veteran Julie Kedzie in San Diego.
Strikeforce officials announced the new match-up on Monday.
Miesha Tate has been out of action since losing the Strikeforce women’s bantamweight title to Rousey in March.
Roger Bowling hoping Strikeforce title shot looms after test against Tarec Saffiedine
There may be Strikeforce fighters out there longing for a chance to slide over and fight in the UFC.
Roger Bowling isn't one of them yet. Not when he's still got business to attend to.
"I want to get that Strikeforce belt first – that's my goal," Bowling (11-2 MMA, 4-2 SF) recently told MMAjunkie.com Radio.
Bowling will take his next step toward the goal of a Strikeforce welterweight title fight on Aug. 18 when he meets Tarec Saffiedine (12-3 MMA, 4-1 SF) at "Strikeforce: Rousey vs. Kaufman," which takes place at Valley View Casino Center in San Diego. The event's main card airs live on Showtime; preliminary-card fights air on Showtime Extreme.
It's the type of challenge Bowling has been hoping for. After a pair of short-notice knockout wins over Jerron Peoples this past December and Brandon Saling in March, Bowling is glad for a fight that will give him a full training camp – and a real test.
"I asked them for a reputable opponent – I want to fight somebody good," Bowling said. "A couple guys, I've fought on late notice and it's hard to get motivated for fights like that. But with Tarec, it's easy to get motivated. I can't wait to get in there with him."
Strikeforce's Coker: Despite Rousey's dominance, she has hands full against Kaufman
Strikeforce bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey is a headliner again.
Rousey, 25, who has less than seven minutes of pro fighting experience, is already widely regarded as the current face of women’s mixed martial arts.
Now, for the second time in 2012, she’ll take a main-event spot for Strikeforce, the UFC’s sister promotion and most prominent MMA organization that features women’s fights.
Ovince St. Preux and T.J. Cook will collide at “Rousey vs. Kaufman.”
Strikeforce's Aug. 18 fight bill continues to develop, as promotion officials announced Friday that light heavyweights Ovince St. Preux and T.J. Cook will collide at “Rousey vs. Kaufman.”
Headlined by a women's bantamweight title tilt pitting reigning champion Ronda Rousey against former belt holder Sarah Kaufman, the event takes place at the Valley View Casino Center in San Diego. The main draw airs on premium cable network Showtime, immediately preceded by the preliminary card broadcast on sister network Showtime Extreme.
A former linebacker at the University of Tennessee, St. Preux recently saw an eight-fight winning streak snapped by Gegard Mousasi on Dec. 17. Prior to his decision loss to the Dream light heavyweight champion, “OSP” notched four wins in the Strikeforce cage, outpointing Antwain Britt, Benji Radach and Ron Humphrey before finishing Joe Cason at Challengers 17 last summer.
Criticism aside, Strikeforce's Tyron Woodley focused: 'It's my time to be champion'
Tyron Woodley has taken some criticism from fans in his MMA career, but he's really in no mood to apologize for his game plans.
Woodley (10-0 MMA, 8-0 SF), who meets Nate Marquardt (31-10-2 MMA, 0-0 SF) next month for the vacant welterweight title in the co-main event of "Strikeforce: Rockhold vs. Kennedy," said sometimes, fights are just going to end in decisions.
"It’s not like you don't try to finish. It's not like you make a decision, 'OK, I'm going to let this fight go to the three rounds,'" Woodley told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) earlier this week. "Some guys just don't want to be put away. I don't want to be put away. You have to find a way to go for the victory shot and get dominant positions, try to do damage."
Woodley's career started with five submission finishes, including three in Strikeforce. But four of his last five wins have come by decision, including two splits. And it seems many times, with MMA fans, it's what have you done for me lately.
Against Marquardt, a former UFC middleweight title challenger who will be making his Strikeforce debut, Woodley takes on an opponent who has been finished just three times in 43 fights.
Sarah Kaufman on Strikeforce champ Rousey: 'I definitely want to test her chin, for sure'
Sarah Kaufman said not to expect the kind of catty, trash-talking buildup to her fight with Ronda Rousey as seen in Rousey's title-winning fight with Miesha Tate.
Instead, expect to see Kaufman speak with her fists.
"It's no surprise that Ronda doesn't like being hit," she today told MMAjunkie.com Radio. "She said that, and I guess you can't really blame her for not wanting to get hit. It's not a shocker there for the average person to not want to get hit."
Strikeforce CEO: Former women's bantamweight champ Miesha Tate returns in fall
Former Strikeforce women's bantamweight champ Miesha Tate recently returned to the gym, and that means a fight isn't far away.
"We don't have anything to announce officially, but I believe you'll see her back in the cage in a relatively quick manner," Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker on Wednesday told MMAjunkie.com Radio. "She's pretty much healed up and ready to start training. But you'll see her back in the cage the early part of fall."
Tate suffered ligament and muscle tears to her left arm before she submitted to current champ Ronda Rousey this past March. The loss snapped a six-fight win streak.