(Dress it up however you like, this tournament will likely end in disaster for Strikeforce.)
Well it looks like Strikeforce is going ahead with its ill-fated heavyweight tournament after all.
The San Jose, California-based promotion revealed to Sherdog over the weekend three of its planned quarter final bouts.
According to the report, Fedor Emelianenko will look to rebound from the only legitimate loss of his career when he takes on Antonio "Bigfoot" Silva and Andrei Arlovski will attempt to disprove all of his detractors who feel the Belarusian fighter would be better suited to play a henchman in b-movies when he locks horns with Josh Barnett at the Izod Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey on February 12.
There’s only one snag with the proposed card: Barnett has not had his license in California reinstated since his renewal application was denied in 2009 following a positive pre-fight steroid test ahead of his planned Affliction: Trilogy bout with Emelianenko.
You might ask yourself, "Why should it matter that he doesn’t have a license in California if he wants to fight in New Jersey?" According to the Association of Boxing Commissions protocol, each membership commission must uphold any sanctioning put in place by one of its fellow commissions, meaning that unless Barnett can push forward the California State Athletic Commssion’s next meeting, which is scheduled for February 23, it’s unlikely that the New Jersey State Athetic Control Board will grant "The Babyfaced Assassin" a license.
What? Strikeforce is teasing a heavyweight bout that will likely never happen? Preposterous.
The Sherdog story also revealed that the promotion has penciled in a first round match-up between Werdum and Brett Rogers and that the promotion has one more unnamed tournament pairing it is working on signing for March 5 in Columbus, Ohio.