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Cung Le & Dan Henderson Not Really Interested In Strikeforce’s Middleweight Tournament (Update)

Scott Coker said the winner of the Cung Le vs. Scott Smith rematch would get a spot in Strikeforce’s upcoming middleweight tournament (assuming Jake Shields doesn’t re-sign). Well, Cung Le won the fight, but that doesn’t mean he’s going to fight in the tournament. Despite all the movie offers on the table, he still wants to fight while he can, just not in a tournament.

“You know tournaments, let those young guys do the tournaments,” Le stated. “I’m 38 years old, and even though I looked 28 on Saturday, after I put that pizza, chocolate chips, and cookies in my stomach, I feel like a 38-year-old. I’m just happy that I’m with Strikeforce, and I’m happy that Scott Coker supported me in the 21 months that I had off.

“I want to sit down with Scott Coker and see what he has in store for me, but I definitely didn’t take that much wear and tear in this fight, and you go through that tournament and you’re fighting a lot. There’s going to be a lot of wear and tear, and I’m not sure exactly what I want to do at this point.”

You can probably count Dan Henderson out as well. After his loss to Jake Shields, he’s more interested in fighting at light heavyweight for now.

Henderson could be even more elusive for the tournament, saying on Friday night’s Inside MMA, “I don’t know if I even want to fight 185 for a while. I’d probably rather not cut weight. There’s lots of tough guys to fight at 205 right now.”

If the tournament happens, it’s supposed to kick off on August 21 in Houston, however it’s doubtful we’ll see all first round bouts in its current form. The line-up looks great on paper but not everyone is interested or available.

Image via Esther Lin for Showtime

Update: The structure and timing of Strikeforce’s middleweight tournament is still very much in the air. Scott Coker tells Sherdog it could be a 4-, 8- or 16-man tournament, and they may end up holding a middleweight title fight in August, and the winner of the tournament would later get the first title shot against the champ. Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza vs. Tim Kennedy is an expected match-up for Strikeforce’s Aug. 21 Houston show. It’s possible that could be the title fight or a tournament bout. Melvin Manhoef and Luke Rockhold were also named as possible participants for the tourney. If Nick Diaz and Mayhem Miller participate, it won’t happen until after their suspensions are up which should be sometime in September.

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