Fedor Emelianenko may be out of the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix, but that doesn’t mean all hope is lost to see him fight Alistair Overeem or Fabricio Werdum. Scott Coker told Ariel Helwani following last night’s event that he doesn’t see any reason why they still couldn’t put those fights together after Overeem and Werdum meet in April. Via Fight Opinion:
ARIEL HELWANI: “And in the back of your mind, is there a little bit, some sadness that you weren’t able to put together the Overeem/Fedor fight, that’s the fight that everyone wanted to see?”
SCOTT COKER: “But, how do you know we’re not going to put it together? See, that’s the thing. … Here’s the thing is that, you know, you don’t know what’s going to happen with Alistair fighting Fabricio (Werdum), right? So, I think people will see either Fedor fight Werdum in a rematch or they’ll see Fedor fight Alistair, depending on what the outcome of that event is. So, you’re still going to see Fedor in some great fights and, you know, I don’t think he’s done.”
Obviously, those fights will depend on whether or not Fedor retires, but Coker seems to be pretty confident that he won’t.
Regardless of what Coker says publicly though, he couldn’t have been thrilled with the outcome last night. Fedor vs. Overeem was their big money fight for a late summer pay-per-view. They may have even been able to get by with Fedor vs. Werdum II, but they can’t take that leap with Silva vs. Overeem or Silva vs. Werdum II. As things stand now, their best bet for pay-per-view is to wait till the fall for the finals, match Fedor up with the Overeem/Werdum loser as Coker alludes to above and throw Gina Carano on the card, maybe even in a rematch with Cris Cyborg if Gina’s ready. Fedor losing wasn’t ideal, but they can still make it work… if Fedor doesn’t retire.