Strikeforce wrapped up their first year on the national stage last night with an highly entertaining event consisting of two great finishes, an absolute war and a come-from-behind knockout victory that would have impressed Rocky Balboa. Of course, in this business, it’s always about what’s next, and last night Scott Coker had answers.
Strikeforce has two major events planned thus far for the first half of 2010. Strikeforce will travel to Florida for the first time when they invade Miami on Jan. 30. The card will be co-headlined by a welterweight title fight between Nick Diaz and Marius Zaromskis and a women’s 145 lbs. title fight between the champ Cris Cyborg and challenger Marloes Coenen. Herschel Walker and Bobby Lashley and are also scheduled to make their debuts. There’s a possibility that Robbie Lawler will compete on the card since his fight at “Evolution” was canceled. Also, KJ Noons and Jay Hieron have been linked to the event in the past.
While Coker stressed that nothing is signed yet for Strikeforce’s second CBS card in April, he said Fedor Emelianenko’s opponent will most likely be Fabricio Werdum since they both won on CBS in early November. Coker added that he’d like to have Alistair Overeem on the card possibly against Brett Rogers or Antonio Silva, however Overeem’s camp seem to have other plans. If Overeem doesn’t make the trip over in April, it’s just as well. He’s the champ and having him fight Rogers or Silva, who are both coming off losses, would be ridiculous especially with Fedor fighting on the same card. Coker also confirmed the organizations plans for pay-per-view in 2010, so you know they’re trying to build up a big title fight between Fedor and Overeem for pay-per-view, but as we saw in last night’s main event, anything and everything will happen in this sport. What if one or both lose? If Strikeforce can finally convince Overeem to come stateside in April, Fedor-Overeem needs to happen.
As for the rest of the CBS card, Dan Henderson vs. Jake Shields for the middleweight title is all but signed at this point. Coker would love to put Gina Carano on the card, but the latest word out of her camp is a summer return at the earliest. Coker expressed his desire to book Gilbert Melendez vs. Shinya Aoki and Josh Thomson vs. Tatsuya Kawajiri as part of their alliance with DREAM. Thomson vs. Noons is also a possibility.
Coker says Strikeforce will take February off for the Olympics, but will be back in March. 20 cards are planned for 2010, including eight Showtime events, the CBS cards and a potential pay-per-view.