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Coker Refuses Immediate Fedor-Werdum Rematch, Says Fedor-Overeem Could Be Non-Title Affair

Take pretty much everything you’ve heard about the Fedor/Werdum/M-1/Strikeforce situation in the past two weeks and throw it out the window. None of it was accurate, or at least not entirely accurate according to a new report filed by Loretta Hunt on Sherdog.

Fabricio Werdum was quoted in two separate Brazilian outlets this past week as saying he would be unavailable for the rest of the year to have surgery on his elbow. Not true says his manager, and if he does have surgery, it will only be “minor.” If the “right opportunity” presents itself, they’re in.

Richard Wilner, Werdum’s manager, said recent reports that the Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt will be sidelined for the rest of 2010 to undergo elbow surgery are incorrect. In an e-mail to on Friday, Wilner wrote that Werdum will meet with a physician next week to evaluate his elbow and that if he required surgery, it “would certainly be minor.”

“He’s back in the gym helping his teammates train for their upcoming fights. He is at the same time still celebrating his victory, enjoying his family, making appearances, teaching, etc.,” wrote Wilner. “Fighting within the year is a possibility if the right opportunity presents itself.”

If the “right opportunity” is a big money rematch with Fedor Emelianenko though, Werdum might as well take his time with the operation and recovery process, because Scott Coker is willing to put Fedor back in the cage with just about anybody except Fabricio Werdum.

“It’s not Fabricio Werdum,” he said. “He already beat (Fedor). To me, it’s only been a month (since the first fight). We saw the Werdum fight already. I think when they eventually hook up and fight again, it will be an amazing fight and event.”

Instead, it appeared Strikeforce was heavily favoring a Fedor-Overeem title fight with a “champion’s clause” to ensure Fedor couldn’t leave the promotion coming off a major victory. But that’s not true says Coker. If Fedor is on his last fight with Strikeforce, which he currently is (could be extended through negotiations), a Fedor-Overeem fight would not be for the title.

Coker knocked rumors that a proposed Overeem-Emelianenko match served to lock the Russian into a “champion’s clause,” a component of standard contracts that makes it difficult for a fighter to exit a promotion once he wins a title.

“That’s not it at all,” said Coker. “Depending on if there’s any future fights, if he fights Overeem, it might not be a title fight. It doesn’t have to be (for the title). If Fedor is on his last fight with us, we wouldn’t make it a title fight with Alistair. But why shouldn’t that fight happen regardless?”

If M-1 refuses to fight Overeem, title fight or not, Coker says Antonio Silva and even Sergei Kharitonov would be options, and if M-1 doesn’t like either of those, Coker says too bad, “I just don’t think they’ll have a choice.”

Of course, M-1 does have a choice. They can hold out for the Werdum rematch if they really want to. Beyond that, Coker says Strikeforce has “first rights to negotiate” if M-1 decides to shop Fedor around. Strikeforce and M-1 Global are expected to begin negotiations this weekend.

Image via Esther Lin for Strikeforce/Showtime

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