Following Strikeforce “Houston” on August 21, it appears SF’s next major show is slated for sometime in October and rumor has it the card could land on CBS.
While there aren’t any match-ups even close to being finalized, early talk is focusing on Dan Henderson’s return, possibly against Babalu Sobral, and a grudge match between CBS brawlers Jason “Mayhem” Miller and Nick Diaz.
MMA Fighting spoke to Hendo’s manager, Aaron Crecy, about a potential October return and what they think about fighting Babalu.
“We don’t have a date,” he said. “I’ve heard October or November, but I don’t know that anyone knows for sure just yet.”
“I don’t think he cares,” he said. “I think the one talking about that fight is Babalu. Dan hasn’t said much about it, but Dan doesn’t usually care one way or the other. He’s more focused on locking up a date. As far as who he’s facing? He doesn’t care.”
Meanwhile, Babalu’s manager, Richard Wilner, says they’re all about making a rematch with Hendo happen at basically whatever weight they want.
“We haven’t been offered the fight but we’re pushing it and hoping for it, and Dan at least in the media, has seemed agreeable to it,” said Sobral’s manager Richard Wilner.
“He’d love to fight at 195, 205 or even at heavyweight,” Wilner said. “He’s not opposed to going up, but going down further to 185 is tough unless it was something really major. He walks around at 218 or 220, so 185 is a big cut for him. It would have to be a big name fight. Babalu is a fine diner and his wife is one hell of a cook.”
“We want the [Henderson] fight,” he continued, “We think it makes sense for both fighters, and objectively speaking, we think it’s a pretty marketable fight.”
That one seems like a no-brainer for the Strikeforce matchmaking team. Another no-brainer is booking Jason “Mayhem” Miller and Nick Diaz in a grudge match from their nationally televised post-fight skirmish. On Joe Rogan’s podcast earlier this week, Mayhem mentioned they’re trying to put that fight together for October.
We’re trying to put Nick Diaz together… I started a grudge match and guess what, now they’re going to use it… I don’t know anything, I don’t know if it’s happening yet, but I like to run my mouth off and hopefully make it happen.
Like I said though, these match-ups while logical aren’t ones anyone should considered booked or even in the works at this point, nor should it be considered a done deal for Strikeforce to return to CBS in October. If they do, they need someone like Fedor Emelianenko or Gina Carano to draw ratings and there’s no indication either of them will be back by then. There’s talk of Herschel Walker fighting in October, but I’m not sure they would run on CBS with Walker as their only draw.
In other Strikeforce news, Josh Gross spoke to Scott Coker and it seems he’s had a slight change of heart about a Fedor-Werdum rematch.
Spoke to Scott Coker yesterday. He’s receptive to promoting Werdum-Fedor 2 in Russia. And I know Showtime is looking at potential dates.
Meanwhile, Fabricio Werdum’s manager confirmed they’re going to make M-1 pay for a rematch.
“That was with the emotions of the fight running high,” Wilner said. “Once emotions subside and rationale thought prevails, Fabricio understands there’s no upside to a rematch with Fedor unless M-1 puts a significant amount of money on the table. We have no rematch clause in our contract with Strikeforce.”
Can’t blame them for that.
One more piece of Strikeforce-related news: Despite the one-night 135lbs. women’s tournament that’s going down in August between Miesha Tate, Hitomi Akano, Carina Damm and Maiju Kujala, Marloes Coenen has been named the number one contender to take on the winner of tomorrow night’s title fight between champion Sarah Kaufman and Roxanne Modafferi. I’m not sure how Coenen gets to skip over the tournament winner, but FightLinker seems to think its because Strikeforce wants the belt around her waist. They’re probably right.
Update: Scratch that part about there being no indication of Fedor fighting in October. Coker says it’s possible depending on how their talks with M-1 Global go.
“Those discussions have started,” Coker told the Sherdog Radio Network’s “Beatdown” show on Monday. “All I could tell you is that it’s going to lead to another conversation, which will lead to another conversation, so it’s going to take time, and, hopefully, we’ll have something put together in the next two to three weeks and we can make a big announcement when the next Fedor fight will occur. If it were up to me, guys, and it were a Strikeforce event, we’d have Fedor fighting before the end of the year. When you have a co-promotion, there are a lot of different needs to fill so to speak.”
“It wasn’t like last time when there were some real major material issues that were a part of the problem. I think this conversation will go much quicker than the last one, and if we all agree, then we’ll set the date,” said Coker. “He could fight as early as October or November, maybe, but it’s really up in the air right now.”
“If the talks take too long, then we’ll move on,” he said. “We’re not waiting forever, and Alistair and Fabricio will definitely be fighting [one another] if that’s the case.”
Coker also said Dan Henderson will either fight Babalu Sobral or Gegard Mousasi this fall for a possible light heavyweight title shot.
“Dan Henderson has let us know that he’s going to move up to 205 and he doesn’t feel comfortable fighting at 185 anymore,” said Coker. “The weight cut was too much for him last time, and he said that it felt like it affected his performance. But Hendo fighting [Renato] ‘Babalu’ [Sobral] or Gegard [Mousasi] is a fight you’ll see before the end of the year, and the winner of that fight will probably fight the winner of the [Muhammed] ‘King Mo’ [Lawal]-[Rafael] ‘Feijao’ [Cavalcante] fight.”
Coker confirmed that a Melendez-Aoki rematch in DREAM is a very real possibility once Melendez heals up.