It appears Strikeforce has made a decision regarding their vacant middleweight title. Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza and Tim Kennedy will fight for the strap Jake Shields left behind on August 21 at Strikeforce “Houston” in the night’s co-main event.
As Jake Shields gets ready to start his UFC career, Strikeforce will move on and declare a new middleweight champion on August 21. Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu ace Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza will meet Tim Kennedy in a bout that will determine the new 185lb title holder.
The bout was announced by Strikeforce on Friday, with Souza vs. Kennedy filling the co-main event fight for the show set to take place in Houston.
No word on what this means for Strikeforce’s planned middleweight tournament, but one option Scott Coker floated recently was to have the tournament determine the number one contender if a champion was already crowned. If the tourney still happens, that seems to be the direction they would go in.
Update: MMA Fighting has an update on the tournament. Apparently, the plan was to do a 4-man one-night tournament in Houston with Jacare, Tim Kennedy, Robbie Lawler and Matt Lindland, however the state of Texas shot it down.
But TDLR administrator Greg Alvarez confirmed to MMA Fighting on Saturday that Strikeforce wanted a one-night, bracket-style tournament for the Houston show, which will air live on Showtime. But Alvarez said that request was denied.
“They asked if it was possible and I told them that when Tough Man was outlawed, the state also did away with tournaments back in 2001,” Alvarez said.
Sec. 2052.254 of Texas’ Combative Sports Occupations Code specifically deals with tournaments. The code states: “An elimination tournament may not be conducted in this state.”
No word if they’re scrapping tournament altogether or trying it again in a different state.
Bobby Lashley is now expected to fight on the Houston card, however he doesn’t have an opponent yet. Also, Erin Toughill is rumored to be fighting Shana Olsen for the opportunity to challenge Cyborg Santos for her title.