“Say ‘Cheese’ fellas! We’re going to the UFC! Drinks are on me tonight.”
You know, we haven’t always been as friendly and respectful to Scott Coker and company the past few years as we could have been. Some of you have even called us haters, right here to our damn faces. However, since this is CagePotato and not CompletelyProfessionalMMAReporting.com, and since most of you assholes come here because we’re assholes, we figure that’s just peachy. That said, Strikeforce does manage to put together some stacked shows, when they’re given enough time between events.
Case in point: Strikeforce’s June 18 show in Dallas boasts a boatload (a large boat, son) of names taking part in the Neverending Story that is the SF heavyweight Grand Prix. Overeem vs Werdum is obviously the big one, but we’ve also got Josh Barnett vs Brett Rogers, Cormier vs Monson, the other Overeem vs that guy with the sideburns, KJ Noons , JZ Cavalcante vs Justin Wilcox… this is a stacked effing card, you pricks. So there, we said something nice. We marked it on our calendar, so it will be nothing but assholery and dick jokes until the autumnal equinox.
Or until the next UFC-Strikeforce superfight, whichever comes first. And with the recent news that cross-promotional fights are on the table for UFC and Strikeforce, we expect to hear SF champs making their case for a superfight of their own.
As a few of you pointed out yesterday, Gilbert Melendez has every right to be thrown in the UFC lightweight title mix, but don’t expect to see that materialize anytime soon. The difference is that the lightweight division is drowning in contenders right now, while UFC matchmaker Joe Silva has recently started studying lucid dreaming and astral projection to come up with suitable challengers for Georges St. Pierre. GSP and Nick Diaz have both drained the pool of valid contenders, so the matchup (whether it goes against “business as usual” or not) was a no-brainer.
So let’s talk about interesting divisions. The UFC’s heavyweight class has historically been the promotion’s shallowest, while Strikeforce has essentially staked its reputation on having an elite group of 265ers, so there’s a bit of parity between the two. With Strikeforce’s Grand Prix going on (and on….and on…..), the promotion will look to determine its own rankings as objectively as possible. To date, however, there have been no plans for the tournament champion after he’s crowned.
Fabricio Werdum and Alistair Overeem have some ideas, though. The winner of their June 18 battle will likely be the favorite to win the tourney crown, and both fighters are making noise about wanting a shot at the UFC champ after the GP is over (which is currently forecast to finish in June of 2016, at the current pace). With Diaz-GSP now official for October, it’s not hard to believe that the eventual tournament winner will be challenging the UFC champ quickly. Of course, there’s no telling who the representatives will be (Dos Santos and Overeem, shhhhh don’t tell nobody), but if someone were taking bets about which division will be consolidated first under the Zuffa banner, we’ve got a five spot and a dirty CP shirt we’ll put on the heavyweights.