Coker: Le Vs. Shamrock 2 Will Happen in 09
Cung Le has reportedly earned raves for his acting chops in no less than 3 major motion pictures currently in post production, but truth be told, he misses fighting.
"He's enjoying his movie star career, and he's had some success at it, and he's doing very well," said Scott Coker, CEO of new/old-kid-on-the-block Strikeforce. "We're very happy for him. I talked to him about a week ago and he's itching to get back into the cage."
Josh Thomson fight against KJ Noons reportedly in the works for Strikeforce on April 11
During a conference call today to promote the upcoming Strikeforce event at the HP Pavilion in San Jose, California on Showtime on April 11, the promoters hinted at a possible title fight between their 155 pound champion Josh “The Punk” Thomson (16-2) and former EliteXC lightweight title holder KJ Noons (7-2).
Thomson captured the Strikeforce world title in June with a unanimous decision over then champion Gilbert “El Nino” Melendez at Strikeforce: “Melendez vs. Thomson.” He’s fought once since then - a non-title bout against Ashe Bowman (first round technical knockout win) at “Strikeforce at the Mansion II” in September.
The Punk is a worthy champion with a extremely versatile attack. Twelve of his sixteen career wins have been by some form of stoppage (4 technical knockouts and 8 submissions). He holds notable career wins over Duane “Bang” Ludwig, “Razor” Rob McCullough, Hermes Franca, Nam Phan and Melendez.
The predicted match with Noons will be his first official title defense.
Noons became the first ever Elite XC 160 pound champion in November of 2007 with a first round technical knockout win over Nick Diaz at Elite XC: “Renegade.” He successfully defended his belt seven months later at “Return of the King” with a first round stoppage over experience veteran Yves Edwards.
The powers that be at EliteXC decided after that match to book a rematch between Noons and Diaz for the title, but Noons felt that Diaz was undeserving of another shot at his gold, as well as the fact that he felt disrespected by the organization for the way he was being treated.
After weeks of disagreement between the two sides, the promotion decided the best thing to do was to strip Noons of his belt and move in another direction.
“King” Karl was rumored a few weeks back to be signing with the Ultimate Fighting Championships, but that rumor was put to rest with Strikeforce acquiring Noons’ contract from the defunct Pro Elite. KJ hasn’t competed in a professional mixed martial arts match since then.
However, he did take a pro boxing match in November and scored a decisive unanimous decision victory over Alejandro Bogarin. He’s currently riding a three fight winning streak in MMA with all three bouts ending with a (technical) knockout.
Strikeforce on Kimbo: It’s not his fault
“Picture a guy that has some streetfighting capabilities that seems like he can punch pretty good, but put him in an MMA situation. He’s not a journeyman fighter, he’s not a superstar in MMA –- he’s just learning. He got thrown into the spotlight at a high level where there’s a lot of pressure to perform, but he probably needed 10 to 12 fights under his belt before he took that leap…. I think that if you look back at the past, he could have been built up to have the fights that he needed to face the Seth Petruzellis of the world and be successful, but he wasn’t given the opportunity. When I look at Kimbo, I don’t look at it as his fault. He was in a ‘no win’ situation.”
Report: Nick Diaz vs. Frank Shamrock set for Strikeforce in April
As the pieces continue to fall into place for the rapidly expanding Strikeforce organization, the California-based promotion now apparently has a main event for their April 11 return to the HP Pavilion in San Jose, Calif.
According to Fiveouncesofpain.com, former Strikeforce middleweight champion Frank Shamrock (23-9-2) will take on UFC and EliteXC veteran Nick Diaz (18-7).
An official announcement of the bout could come as early as today.
Baroni Likely Headed To Strikeforce
While he won't return right away when Strikeforce does, Phil Baroni announced recently that he will return to the promotion for a not-yet-announced show in May. Opponent TBA, but it was revealed that Baroni will drop to Welterweight for the fight.
Nick Diaz and Gilbert Melendez Added to April 11th Strikeforce Card
Nick Diaz and Gilbert Melendez have been added to the rumored lineup for Strikeforce’s April 11th event at the HP Pavilion in San Jose.
According to GracieFighter.com Diaz and Melendez will both return to action on the card, which is also slated to include Frank Shamrock, Strikeforce lightweight champion Josh Thomson, and Benji Radach vs. Scott Smith.
Diaz’s opponent is expected to be announced today with additional bouts set to be officially confirmed at a official press conference to be held in the next two weeks.
Strikeforce declines to acquire contracts of Antonio Silva and Murilo “Ninja” Rua
Published reports indicate that Strikeforce acquired a total of 42 fighter of approximately 150 contracts from ProElite during last week’s acquisition of select assets.
The San Jose-based promotion is believed to have the option of acquiring additional contracts from ProElite in the future, but as it stands now, a great deal of fighters will continue to remain under ProElite control.
FiveOuncesOfPain.com has learned that two fighters that will remain under contract to ProElite are EliteXC heavyweight champion Antonio Silva and former EliteXC middleweight champion Murilo “Ninja” Rua.
The Weekly Wrap: Jan. 31 - Feb. 6
The Weekly Wrap walks readers through the last seven days in MMA, recapping and putting into context the week's top story, important news and notable quotes. by Jack Encarnacao (email@example.com)
Did ZUFFA drop the ball on women's MMA?
With Strikeforce recently purchasing the majority of ProElite, look for them to not only create a woman's title in the near future, but to continue signing top ranked talent in that division and put together fights that the fans want to see, namely Gina Carano vs. Cris Cyborg.
If and when the WEC and Zuffa decide to pick up the woman's division, will it be too late?
Big In 2008, Strikeforce Plans Expansion In 2009
It has been a banner year for mixed martial arts. Viewership and popularity grew to record numbers, but that success was not without a cost.
While the Ultimate Fighting Championship soared above all others, 2008 saw the downfall of the International Fight League and apparently ProElite and its MMA promotion EliteXC.
Still, there were survivors, most notably California-based promotion Strikeforce, which achieved its highest levels of exposure and revenue since its inception two years ago.
Cung Le Reflects on 2008, Looks To 2009
From an infant escaping war-torn Vietnam shortly before the fall of its capital, Saigon, to San Shou star to MMA champion, Cung Le has seen his share of good times and bad.
Still, throughout it all, he has persisted to become the best at what he does, leading him to find success both in and out of the arena and become one of combat sports' most popular athletes.
Recently Le had a chance to look back over his year and discuss the injury that has kept him sidelined much of the year, while also pursuing a blossoming film career.
Frank Shamrock - New Interview!
Frank Shamrock ‘Moving on to 2009’
Former Undefeated UFC Champion and Strikeforce Middleweight Champion Frank Shamrock talked with PDG about the Fall of EliteXC, the Rise of Strikeforce, fighting Tito Ortiz, his brother Ken, a rematch with Cung Le and More!
PDG: Really, so the fight is still scheduled for around April?
Shamrock: I have arena dates booked and a pay-per-view date all set up. Ken is just being Ken though and we really haven't finalized his commitment to the fight. I have worked way too hard to make this fight happen but man it has been an uphill battle all the way.
PDG: Overall, what are your lasting impressions of how the whole EliteXC-CBS Saturday Night program ended and the ultimate demise of the company?
Shamrock: Sadly, I believe that the ending was almost inevitable. The way they had their business model laid out, they were not equipped to handle any bad press. You had a bunch of guys that didn't know what they were doing making the decisions for the company. As far as Kimbo Slice getting knocked out, I thought it was great MMA. That is what the whole sport is about; two fighters get in there and go at it and the situation created a great opportunity for Seth Petruzelli. That moment was pure MMA and its unfortunate that it caused the demise of the company.
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Strikeforce's Josh Thomson seeking fights with world's best
Riding an eight-fight win streak, Strikeforce lightweight champion Josh Thomson (16-2) established himself as a top-10 fighter with a dominant, unanimous-decision win over Gilbert Melendez this past June.
"The Punk" then returned to action with a 74-second destruction of Ashe Bowman in September.
But as Thomson recently told TAGG Radio (www.taggradio.com), the official radio partner of MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com), he's now looking for fights with the best opponents in the world.
"Right now I have two (dream opponents)," Thomson said. "I have Eddie Alvarez and B.J. (Penn). To me I think those are the two top guys now."
Josh Thomson's Toe Jam
It's been a month since Strikeforce Lightweight champion Josh Thomson was forced out of his first title defense due to a toe injury. 1 month later, no progress despite rehab. Thomson says he has 2 weeks to get better or he's off Strikeforce's February event and will target a March return.
Strikeforce VP Talks Talent
The recent addition of former Ultimate Fighting Championship veteran Jorge Gurgel to the ranks of Strikeforce caps off a year where veteran stars like newly crowned light-heavyweight champ Renato “Babalu” Sobral and young talents like Eric Lawson have helped the promotion grow to its biggest and most diverse state yet.
With a multitude of exciting fights and surprises from both the men and women’s divisions, Strikeforce has a lot to grow on in the coming year, according to company Vice President Mike Afromowitz.
“I think the talent we’ve had has really showed tremendous progression,” he stated. “We brought in new talent and there were some incredible moments.”