It’s not a done deal yet, but you can almost bank on Strikeforce signing Dave Batista in the near future.
On this week’s edition of The MMA Hour, Scott Coker revealed to Ariel Helwani that they’re having “good dialogue” with Batista, and don’t see a problem putting him in their cage without a single professional fight under his belt. The fight they clearly want is Batista vs. Bobby Lashley. Lashley mentioned earlier this week that the fight doesn’t really fit into his career plan, but if Strikeforce wanted it, he would take it.
“It’s not really the direction I want to move (in), but if it’s worth it and they really think he’s ready and Strikeforce wants me to fight him, I’ll take the fight,” Lashley told Sherdog.com last week.
“I’ve had a good game plan up to this point and I really want to move in the right direction,” said Lashley. “Dave’s just starting out. I’m looking to better myself and get better opponents each time. Griggs is 8-1 and there’s a lot of top heavyweight guys out there right now, so I really have my eyes set on a handful of those guys.
“I’m not disrespecting Dave at all, but he’s new to the game,” continued Lashley. “That’s definitely a fight for the fans, but not so much for my career. I’d do it and keep moving forward.”
While both fighters may be open to it, there could be scheduling conflicts. In the video above, Batista tells FIGHT! Magazine that he doesn’t expect to make his MMA debut until early next year. Meanwhile, MMA Torch is hearing Lashley is only open to the fight if it happens in “October, not January.”
According to a source with knowledge of the negotiations, Lashley is interested in the fight, but he’s leaving only a small opening for them to put it together before he’ll pass on the fight altogether. He’s open to it, but he wants to step up against bigger names sooner rather than later. For Lashley, if Bautista wants the fight, than he has “a small window. October not January.”
Whether that fight happens remains to be seen, but it’s not the only heavyweight match-up on Scott Coker’s mind. On The MMA Hour, Scott Coker told Ariel Helwani that Alistair Overeem will hopefully return to action in October, possibly against Antonio Silva, but an opponent is definitely not set. The heavyweight Overeem won’t meet this fall however is Fedor Emelianenko. Coker wouldn’t elaborate, only saying he didn’t think that fight would happen this year. With Fabricio Werdum, Alistair Overeem and possibly Antonio Silva off the table, it begs the question, who will Fedor fight this fall? Or perhaps the better question is, will Fedor fight at all in the remainder of 2010?
Coker also mentioned that Nick Diaz will return in October, possibly against Mayhem Miller but that’s still up in the air. Cris Cyborg will probably return towards to the end of the year, but not against Gina Carano. Coker says she’s still off making movies and hasn’t spoken to her yet. Randy Couture says he would be “very surprised” if Gina returns to fighting at all.