Cung’s making another movie.
Since that means he’ll be away from real fighting for even longer, he’s decided to relinquish his Strikeforce middleweight title which Strikeforce is now putting up for grabs in a title fight between Jake Shields and Jason “Mayhem” Miller on Nov. 7.
Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker Thursday confirmed to MMAWeekly.com that his middleweight champion, Cung Le, has booked another major motion picture role and will relinquish his belt.
Jake Shields and Jason “Mayhem” Miller will now vie for the undisputed title under the eye of CBS when the two meet at the promotion’s network debut Nov. 7 at location to be announced early next week…
“I had a conversation with Cung and he has a lot of respect for Jake and Jason, and he’s got another movie coming up, so he’s asked me if he could step down, which we’re going to honor his request,” said Coker. “By no means does that mean he’s going to be retired, but he’s going to be unavailable for the next two months.”
“With Cung, every six weeks we’ll be checking back with him,” he continued. “Now that he’s not going to be our title holder, we’ll put him in some big super fights and continue his MMA career, but not have the pressure of defending his belt when he has movie opportunities.”
Jake’s manager/father issued a brief statement saying how pleased they were that the fight is happening and how happy they are to be back on CBS. Mayhem’s statement was a little more blunt.
Ok bitches who said I was ducking- I duck NO ONE. Fighting Sheilds on November 7th. Official BOOM @jellismate
The funny thing is about this card is, thanks to Bully Beatdown of all things, Mayhem Miller will in all likelihood be the top drawing star of the show.
Moving on, a few more reactions to today’s announcement have come in from the main event participants and their managers.
Brett Roger’s manager Mike Reilly was pleasantly surprised to hear the news about CBS.
“I was actually surprised.” Reilly told FanHouse on Thursday. “I thought we would end up fighting Fedor on CBS, but I thought, like everybody else, that the first CBS show was going to be in the first quarter of 2010, so I kind of thought we were going to fight somebody else between now and then, but doing it first and on CBS is great.
“One of the reasons we signed on with Strikeforce is because CBS was a possibility. And what I’ve found is working with Strikeforce, dude, anything’s possible. I guess that’s what makes it fun and exciting. There’s something new all the time and another exciting opportunity.”
Meanwhile, Vadim Finkelchtein, via an M-1 Global press release, is elated about the exposure M-1 Global will get on network television.
“We are extremely proud to be working with Scott Coker, Strikeforce, CBS, and SHOWTIME, in what we consider to be a true co-promotional relationship,” said President and Founding M-1 Global owner Vadim Finkelchtein. “To be able to bring exposure to the M-1 name in front of such a large American viewing audience on national television is a tremendous achievement for M-1 Global.”
“Brett Rogers knocked out Mr. Murphy in just 1:01 of round 1 in his CBS debut in 2008, so we know he will be a very dangerous and prepared opponent,” remarked Finkelchtein. “However, we are always looking for new challenges and Brett Rogers presents a great one for Fedor.
“When we looked at the fan polls in the U.S. this past August, the fight American fans wanted to see most for Fedor was Brett Rogers so it is with great pleasure that we are able to work with Strikeforce and CBS in bringing this fight to the American public at no cost.”
And last but not least, Fedor just hopes to put on a “satisfactory” performance.
“I have a tremendous amount of respect for Brett Rogers,” said Emelianenko. “He has worked his way from the bottom to the top and his recent win over Andrei Arlovski is very impressive and made him a top-ten heavyweight from the perspective of many people, including me.”
“Of course, after not being able to compete as scheduled in August I am happy for the opportunity to be competing in front of Americans. I have been training hard for this fight and hope to put on a performance that the fans will find satisfactory.”
By the way, Dave Meltzer is hearing this announcement does not mean Strikeforce has signed a multi-event agreement with CBS. Sounds like this one will be more of a test run to see how they do in the ratings.
Image via Sherdog