Talk about making up for lost time. After a 12-month drought that gave us only one light-heavyweight championship match and an interim lightweight title scrap, Strikeforce has decided to just say "fuck it" and call every bout on their next card a title fight.
It has been confirmed that the upcoming grudge match between Nick Diaz and Joe Riggs — originally slated for the undercard of the "Carano vs. Cyborg" show on August 15th — will now decide Strikeforce’s vacant welterweight title. The bout will join the lightweight title rematch between Josh Thomson and Gilbert Melendez, the heavyweight championship battle between Alistair Overeem and Fabricio Werdum, and the main event, in which Gina Carano and Cris Cyborg will go five rounds for Strikeforce’s first-ever 145-pound women’s title. So yes, three of these four title fights will be rematches. Deal with it.
We can only hope that Strikeforce finds a way to get Diaz/Riggs II on the main card, even if they have to drop Thompson vs. Melendez II to the prelims, because let’s face it, that match is going to get swallowed up in the hype of all the other ones, and nobody seems too psyched about it anyway. You don’t relegate your most entertaining fighter (Diaz) to the undercard, unless you want a hundred-thousand pissed-off Stocktonites rioting in the streets. (Hint: You don’t want that.) So we’ll see. In the meantime, don’t make plans on 8/15 — particularly if you’re employed as Strikeforce’s belt-polisher.