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(Sign on the dotted line, or continue to get steamrolled by guys who look like ‘Spitting Image’ puppets. Your choice, pal.)
As first reported by MMAWeekly, Strikeforce is looking to make its pay-per-view debut sometime in July; date and venue are TBA at this point, though July 2nd is already booked for UFC 132: Cruz vs. Faber. In an attempt to give the Strikeforce PPV some superfight muscle, the promotion has reached out to Fedor Emelianenko’s camp to offer the Last Emperor a fight against reigning light-heavyweight champ Dan Henderson. The fight wouldn’t necessarily be for Hendo’s belt — it could take place at a catchweight or at heavyweight, depending on how negotiations shake out.
Emelianenko vs. Henderson makes even more sense in light of Saturday’s controversial draw between Gegard Mousasi and Keith Jardine. Mousasi was originally supposed to face Mike Kyle, in a bout that was thought to be a 205-pound title eliminator. Instead, Mousasi faced late-replacement Jardine and was unable to secure a victory, which makes the LHW contender picture a little more complicated. Strikeforce’s July card is also rumored to feature the return of former light-heavyweight champion Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal taking on 4-0 submission whiz Roger Gracie.
In other news…
Strikeforce’s heavyweight grand prix alternates have been re-booked for the Overeem vs. Werdum event on June 18th at the American Airlines Center in Dallas. Top heavyweight prospect Shane Del Rosario — who dispatched Lavar Johnson by first-round armbar at February’s Fedor vs. Silva event — will face undefeated wrestling ace Daniel Cormier. Meanwhile, HWGP alternates Valentijn Overeem (who scored a first-round neck crank submission over Ray Sefo) and Chad Griggs (who TKO’d Gian Villante) will be facing each other.
In addition to the featured heavyweight bouts between Alistair Overeem and Fabricio Werdum, and Josh Barnett vs. Brett Rogers, the June 18th event is also slated to host the return of Gina Carano, although her opponent is still undetermined. According to Scott Coker, Strikeforce was in talks with Cindy Dandois about coming on as Carano’s opponent, until they found out that she was three months pregnant. Nice one, Gegard.