Closing a deal to bring Fedor Emelianenko to Strikeforce wasn’t the only major announcement Scott Coker had this week.
Earlier this year, when Strikeforce announced the EliteXC-Showtime deal, Coker had talked about teaming up with DREAM to put on cross-promotional fights between the organizations’ best. Not much has been said about it since then, but it looks like they just needed time to iron out the details, because Coker now says Strikeforce and DREAM have formed an “alliance.”
“At the beginning of this MMA relationship, we had talked about having Dream fighters come over, and our fighters go over there, and having this relationship,” Coker told MMAWeekly.com. “Well, we all got busy and we never really had the opportunity when they wanted Jake (Shields) to fight over there and when we wanted (Shinya) Aoki, he was scheduled to fight. Now we’re going to be able to put those dream fights together.”
“If we want to get Japanese fighters, we would work exclusively with Dream, and Dream would work exclusively with us, and M-1 as well,” said Coker. “M-1 will be part of this too.”
According to Coker, this and the Fedor deal are unrelated, however MMA Weekly has a “well-placed” source that claims DREAM “helped bridge the financial gap between Emelianenko’s asking price and Strikeforce’s offer.” Of course, “sources” haven’t exactly been too reliable recently when it comes to anything Fedor related, so it’s probably just best to take Coker’s word for it unless we hear otherwise.
“This is a deal that I’ve wanted to make happen where we could start utilizing the fighters and having a good relationship with Dream,” he said. “So I’ve been working on this for a while, and it just happened to come down at the same time as the announcement.
“Now that the Fedor announcement is out there, we said, ‘let’s go make this Dream thing happen.’”
Sounds good to me. There’s a lot of great match-ups that can be made with this “alliance” like Manhoef vs Lawler/Le, Filho vs Shields, Diaz vs Zaromskis, Hansen vs Thomson, etc. etc. You’d be pretty hard pressed to find a downside.
Perhaps as a product of this alliance, Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza who is scheduled to fight Jason “Mayhem” Miller at DREAM.11 for the middleweight title (again), has signed a multi-fight deal with Strikeforce and is expected to debut on the same card as Fedor. Nothing has been said about him withdrawing from the DREAM fight, but Japan-MMA is hearing rumors that Paulo Filho will be fighting for the middleweight title this fall.