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Five Terrifying Facts About Tonight’s Strikeforce Show

(VidProps: YouTube/Heyman Hustle)

Even though it probably committed its welterweight champion to the wrong grudge match, Strikeforce has managed to cobble together a decent little card for its Showtime broadcast tonight. Nick Diaz’s main event bout with KJ Noons could be the kind of brawlalicous slugfest that MMA fans always say we don’t see enough. Couple that with Sarah Kaufman finally getting the chance to fight on a “major” show and Josh Thomson battling Gesias “JZ” Cavalcante for the respect he believes they so richly deserve, and it should be a pretty good time. So why do I feel so concerned? Maybe because there are a few storylines running just below the surface that we as MMA fans should find a bit disquieting. Here’s a look at them … 

1. Paul Heyman is angling for a piece of the MMA pie.

Heyman’s first patently unfunny advertising spot for EA Sports MMA is like a terrible PTSD flashback for people who watched wrestling during the late ’90s. Predictably, it features all of one line of spoken dialogue from Diaz during three awkward and hastily choreographed minutes of lame, rassling-style “comedy.” The whole thing only makes it more inexplicable that these wrestling guys retain their reputations as “great promoters” while their product pretty much sucks.

Now, in a general sense, there’s nothing wrong with Heyman — smart guy, outspoken, pretty entertaining when not working from the world’s worst script. But the fact that his new advertising and marketing firm, Looking for Larry, has nabbed EA MMA as its first client should give us all pause. Given the sport’s precarious position in mainstream sporting culture, MMA needs fewer connections to pro wrestling, not more.

2. Nobody wants KJ Noons to be the champ. I mean, right?

We all kid Nick Diaz a lot because, well, he’s Nick Diaz. However, the real truth is most of us would vastly prefer Diaz walking around with any kind of MMA belt than Noons, a guy who may not have any redeeming qualities at all aside from pretty hair. That’s why it’s so worrisome that A) A lot of people are picking Noons in this fight and B) According to Diaz’s most recent performances, he may well try to stand up with the dude who moonlights as professional boxer. In addition, news that Diaz will have former professional wrestling stooge Dave Bautista in his corner for this bout doesn’t build any extra confidence.

Swear to God, if Noons wins the Strikeforce 170-pound championship by beating the always punch-hungry Jorge Gurgel (in a fight marred by cheating anyway) and then an obstinate Diaz refusing to use his BJJ black belt … I … I won’t know what to think.  

3. Newsflash: A bunch of new T-shirts won’t save Strikeforce.

Some of the advance footage from EA MMA a few weeks ago clued us in to the fact Strikeforce would be giving itself a makeover. On Saturday morning, the promotion released word that it was “pre-launching” its new online apparel store to coincide with Diaz vs. Noons II. First the good news: The new Strikeforce logos are a vast improvement over the god-awful, winged monstrosity the company initially used to brand itself. Now the bad: It’s gonna take a lot more than a new insignia to put Strikeforce back in MMA fans’ good graces. It’s gonna take fights. Good fights. Fights that don’t involve former pro wrestlers or football players or guys with just a couple wins or Internet street fighters. Fighters fighting fights, that’s the only way to dig yourself out of this hole, Coker.

4. Sarah Kaufman finally talked herself onto a main card. Now she better not screw it up.

Regardless of what any of you think, Kaufman was totally right to call bullshit on the fact Strikeforce kept sticking its 135-pound female champ on dead-end Challengers cards and the slam of Roxanne Modafferi was just the exclamation point on the end of the sentence. So here she is, on (almost) as big a stage as MMA’s second-best fight promotion can offer, with a pretty formidable opponent in the towering Marloes Coenen. It would be, frankly, extremely embarrassing to lose this fight. Coenen is another pretty likable fighter who might actually be the more marketable of the two, were she to become the new champ. Still, I hate to see a good rhetorical strategy go to waste, so I’ll be pulling for Kaufman here.

5. As the great poet Matt Lindland once said …

“When you’re the man, you don’t have to run around screaming about how you’re the man. Everybody already knows you’re the man.” In essence, former champ Thomson ignored that advice this week when he chose the Strikeforce prefight press conference as a good time to voice his displeasure with the media’s MMA rankings and – apropos of nothing – sort of call out WEC champ Ben Henderson for being overrated. Yeah, it wasn’t exactly the classiest thing to do and it downgraded my excitement level for Thomson’s fight with Cavalcante from about a mild seven out of 10, to a middling five. Is it cool to root for a double knockout here? Because, like, then what would those hapless MMA rankings guys do?

Cagepotato Comments

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fatbellyfrank- October 9, 2010 at 5:57 pm
Nick Ring v's Cyborg winner gets the full sexchange treatment
MoTropolis- October 9, 2010 at 5:18 pm
and fantasy female fighter #1? Nick Ring.
mt59801- October 9, 2010 at 5:02 pm
I'm going to watch Diaz and my #2 fantasy female fighter...marloes. Fuck the rest of this card
fatbellyfrank- October 9, 2010 at 4:50 pm
I hope Marloes takes this one, then announces on the world stage she has decided to devote her life to the sexual gratification of an unknown fat Australian bastard (Me) and her new direction has the full approval of the Reem, so he doesnt find me and kill me with his bare hands.
Oh, and I hope Nick destroys Noon's using whatever means required WAR 209, and I hope the other people fighting have good fights.

And just to let you know, my posts will get dumber and dumber through out the event as I get drunker and drunker
love to all at the Nation, and happy fight day
El Guapo- October 9, 2010 at 4:42 pm
Drama, storylines and bullshit aside, tonight's card is gonna be good.

As for this article, I liked numbers 1 and 2. Didn't agree with either, but I liked them. That skit didn't make me el em eff aye oh or anything, but I did crack a smile. And the video game looks sick. If Noons wins, he deserves to be champion. Simple as that. Nick's one of the best fighters in the game, period. You beat the man, you become the man. I don't wear stupid gear(#3), I like my women attractive(#4)and f'k drama(#5).
fatbellyfrank- October 9, 2010 at 4:35 pm
Lookin forward to this one, gonna be a knock down drag em out ol style wild west bar fight, I hope, If I was the Noon's camp I'd be keepin an eye on Batista and hope he doesn't grab any steel chairs, nawmimsayn
fatbellyfrank- October 9, 2010 at 4:33 pm
@ Videodrome, yeah gotta love Meat curtains, perhaps not as clasy as Piss flaps, but a nice one to go with
MoTropolis- October 9, 2010 at 4:10 pm
The chick thats fighting the other chick I think...I dont pay much attention to the chick fights.
rampageisgod- October 9, 2010 at 3:25 pm
Who is coming off a loss? My fault if this is a repeat question.
EvilScott- October 9, 2010 at 2:55 pm
This article was garbage. Instead of complaining about t-shirts of reports of Bautista cornering Diaz (which will probably be akin to Seagal cornering Silva as far as level of involvement) how about bringing up the fact that ONCE AGAIN a Strikeforce fighter coming off of a loss is getting a title shot?

Why does it matter if KJ wins (I don't think he will, Diaz will smoke his ass standing) if the Strikeforce strap is meaningless?
KidDinomite- October 9, 2010 at 2:55 pm
Yknow, to me it doesn't matter who's fighting really. I like Diaz and Noons has looked pretty good in his last few fights. The Connor Heun fight was a warmup for Noons though because he looked like he had some ring rust. But he really impressed me with his fight against Gurgel, illegal knee notwithstanding. Plus the left hook after the bell couldn't have been stopped as he was in mid-swing when it rang.

I guess I like Noons better. He definitely represents the sport better and doesn't have to put on an unnecessary "gangster" image either. I don't know, maybe he's a real asshole in real life but I never got that sense about him in interviews.

Honestly I don't see why the author of this article is bitching. This is a good card plus it's not on PPV and the fights look great on paper. Also, Heyman signed with EA MMA, not Strikeforce. Think about it, what could he do if Strikeforce hired him? He might have some good ideas about improving production and other areas that are lacking (Gus Johnson's commentary). Heyman's ECW was the absolute BEST in pro wrestling, yes, even better than WWE. He just didn't have the monetary power like Vince McMahon otherwise Heyman would have had arguably the best pro wrestling company around. I think Heyman could be great for MMA.
MoTropolis- October 9, 2010 at 2:08 pm
steampunk nailed his assessment of Noons with the movie reference. And after Silva pulled off that win against Sonnen, I'll never question a fighters choice of who is in his corner again.
ghostboner- October 9, 2010 at 2:01 pm
I care about the Mayhem fight, and would rather see that than this. But whatev. KJ is legit.

Thanks videothunderdome. I liked the tube sock fashion advice, although I doubt I will be sporting that this fall since it is hard to find Strikeforce socks in infant foot size. I will keep them curtains, unless they're visible from the rear, that is just too much. RMC=GTFO.
danomite- October 9, 2010 at 1:22 pm
so is Paul Heyman imitating Glenn Beck or is Glenn Beck imitating Paul Haymen? all i could think about the whole time was how this guy's mannerisms and inflection are the exact same as glenn beck and it pissed me off
RSparrow- October 9, 2010 at 1:16 pm
I hate to think i'm alone here, but...

KJ Noons is DEFINITELY a LEGITIMATE contender and threat for this belt. I enjoy Diaz being Champ, and enjoy all of his fights, but he's got himself a fucking scrap tonight!! It seems like everyone is overlooking KJ, both bookies and fans. I got him for the upset, and if he gets rolled, fuck it, I stand by my decision.

KJ's gonna catch him, Diaz is gonna be hurt and try to do a roll on the ground looking to grab his legs, but KJ is gonna start poppin' him until the ref says no mas.

KJ by TKO.

Of course they will have a rubber match, but i think the best predicament would be Diaz getting into the UFC, and the best possibility for that is if he isn't the Strikeforce champ.

You heard it first CP Nation. Peace.

Videodrome_NOW- October 9, 2010 at 12:53 pm
I'm sorry, but Meat Curtains is by far the funniest name I have come across on this site.... maybe ever. Ghostboner, you deserve a fuckin medal. Everyone I know is going to be addressed as such. Except you,GB. You are Keeper of the Curtains.
Dynamo- October 9, 2010 at 12:49 pm
This article is pretty stupid..

And why does every article you guys put out about this say:

"Even though it probably committed its welterweight champion to the wrong grudge match,"

Who cares about Mayhem fight, this is a much more interesting fight in every way, unless you started watching MMA about a year ago.
itsgalf- October 9, 2010 at 12:30 pm
why is this article titled "Five Terrifying Facts about..."?
It should simply be "Five Talking Points about..."
nate dogg- October 9, 2010 at 12:06 pm
This is a horrible article, this site has gone downhill so fast.
ghostboner- October 9, 2010 at 12:01 pm
Ya I noticed too, it doesn't match up. Kind of like how since there is a 90 deg right turn in the fence right next to where the sheep get caught, my left arm is way stronger.
KingZipperhed- October 9, 2010 at 11:36 am
According to reports from nate diaz noons only injects hgh and roids into the left side of his body. Kind of like since i was thirteen and started having long showers my right hand is WAY stronger than my left.
Turd Furgeson- October 9, 2010 at 11:33 am
And about the Strikeforce apparel: it's not so bad, but I never understood why people would wanna wear a shirt that says Strikeforce or UFC on it. That'd be like walking around wearing an NFL or NBA shirt.
Biffmiester- October 9, 2010 at 11:32 am
Is it just me or does Noons' jawline not match up from left to right on the background ad for tonight? That left jaw kinda looks like someone doing this.:

KingZipperhed- October 9, 2010 at 11:32 am
And really? Noons more unlikable than Diaz????? I mean the Diaz brothers are entertaining but its in a more what a fucking trainwreck kind of way.
KingZipperhed- October 9, 2010 at 11:29 am
I'm a canuck so i can't say that coenen is gonna win but sarah better get her mojo going tonight go sarah!!!