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Report: Remaining Strikeforce HWGP Quarterfinal Bouts Won’t Happen on April 9

(“Is there any way you can hold those poses until the summer?”)

It struck us as blindly optimistic when Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker announced that the second leg of his heavyweight tournament quarterfinals would take place on April 9th, even before he had a venue (or a host country) locked down. If it was just a matter of finding an arena with an open date on its schedule, it wouldn’t be a problem, but Josh Barnett‘s licensing issues made the task a lot more challenging.

So it’s really no surprise to read this new Sherdog report, which claims that Strikeforce’s remaining heavyweight tournament quarterfinals — Barnett vs. Brett Rogers, and Alistair Overeem vs. Fabricio Werdum — won’t be happening on April 9th after all. Sources close to the promotion tell Sherdog that Strikeforce will host their 4/9 event in California (a forbidden zone for the Babyface Assassin), but with no tournament fights on the card. Instead, the event will feature a lightweight title fight between Gilbert Melendez and Tatsuya Kawajiri — a rematch of their bout at PRIDE Shockwave 2006 — and possibly another welterweight title defense from Nick Diaz (opponent TBA, though Paul Daley and Tyron Woodley are options).

Anyway, that’s what some sources are saying. Other sources hear it differently…

After the Sherdog report came out, ESPN’s Josh Gross semi-refuted the news via Twitter, writing: “Sherdog cites unnamed sources that Strikeforce’s 2nd leg of HW GP not on April 9 card. Counters what I heard today re: St. Louis or Houston [as venues for 4/9 grand prix bouts]. I’m not sure what to believe. Coker won’t get back to me. People on his staff say they have no idea what he has planned.”

Josh Barnett adds: “I don’t really have anything to say about it. I have not heard anything from the promotion yet.”

After an impressive television turnout for “Fedor vs. Silva,” and the growing excitement for the Overeem vs. Werdum match, Strikeforce has legitimate momentum surrounding their heavyweight tournament. Failure to book a date and a venue is the last thing the promotion needs right now. It doesn’t have to be April 9th, but fans can’t be expected to hold their interest indefinitely. If Josh Barnett is the wrench in the works, so to speak, it might be worth ditching him for an alternate — Shane Del Rosario, or even Fedor Emelianenko — just so the tournament can continue on schedule.

Cagepotato Comments

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fatbellyfrank- February 23, 2011 at 9:12 pm
@ OBI, I bow to you sir, referencing the rhyme of the ancient mariner, major kudos and +1000.
PS, my Dad was a merchant seaman most his working life and now proudly sports a ball cap with Ancient mariner on the front
Endless Soldier- February 22, 2011 at 7:52 pm
Well, the GP is just one of the many things Coker's plugged in his ass that just can't get out and just goes deeper with every move he makes.
RaginAsian- February 22, 2011 at 4:00 pm
Coker only has room in his mouth for so many dicks. Barnett's should not be one of them.
ccman- February 22, 2011 at 12:12 pm

My email is drop me a line. Also I run vip and house of blues at the woodlands pavillion if you go to a concert, I got ya covered.
RSparrow- February 22, 2011 at 11:57 am
@ccman, @Gill and whoever

I can literally see the Toyota Center and Verizon Theater from my balcony. Anyone who wants to get together for the fights if they come here are welcomed to come and party. CP VIP.

PS. God Damnit I hate Scott Coker, have I said that before?
PERPATRAITOR- February 22, 2011 at 10:35 am
Go to the indian reservation for fucks sake.
ccman- February 22, 2011 at 9:00 am
@ gill . You in houston? I'm up in the woodlands. And houston shows always suck. Toyotas to big for sf. Verizons to small. Pavillion won't work. Cokers a tool. Though if it happens I can work live nation for tickets. Id give my chances at -300 I can get some, the regional director owes me.

Otherwise, not sure even tx weak ass commission would license barnett. Even they have SOME standards.
RwilsonR- February 22, 2011 at 8:44 am
Isn't MMA a dead fad in Japan? Nobody knows whether or not a show will be profitable in Brazil at this point. Barnett is banned in the USA. So why not have it in Canada? It is the Mecca of MMA, after all. MRuss could attend and perhaps have an awkward moment when he runs into Gus Johnson in the makeup room backstage. And then have an even more awkward moment when he runs into Mauro Ranallo and they shake hands and implode because the same matter cannot occupy the same space as we learned from JCVD in Timecop. Plus, David Loiseau and Joe Doerkson are always looking for a good undercard to fight on. It's a win win win win.
KarmaAteMyCat- February 22, 2011 at 8:31 am
I smell a monkey wrench in the Surf Ninja's plans! WATCH OUT!

*picks up the ball* Scott you keep dropping this put it somewhere safe!
RwilsonR- February 22, 2011 at 8:29 am
Smitty's right. It's time to stop having any real expectations for Strikeforce, holding them accountable for what they say, or looking forward to entertaining fights from them on a regular basis. That is what you were saying, right?
Fried Taco- February 22, 2011 at 8:26 am
Apparently Japan is too busy.
Smitty- February 22, 2011 at 8:11 am
They could push this thing back to next year, and you mother fuckers would still watch it. Does strikeforce have issues.....yes. Have they proven themselves to be able to put on entertaining fights......yes. It's time to stop comparing Strikeforce to the UFC. They'll never measure up, but they've done alright by me thus far.
cecils_pupils- February 22, 2011 at 7:59 am
Nothing surprises me about Strikeforce anymore. They just suck.
weak beav
JamesToneyismyhero- February 22, 2011 at 7:50 am
@ddmagoo Barnett's love handles are the result of spending too much time in Japan. Exposure to remaining nuclear radiation does weird things to the body. eg. Rampage's eyes are too close together, everything about Wandy
Old_Bald_and_Irish- February 22, 2011 at 7:50 am
* sound of facepalm *

Strikeforce can't find a venue for Babyfat Assassin?

For god's sake, head to Brazil, Mexico or Cnada. I can't believe they can't find a place in Japan.

If this GP is gonna work, SF needs to keep the momentum going.

At this point, they are tied to Barnett; for better or worse. While I'm happy to see Josh competing, I still think he should have even been considered for this GP. Much less even fight anymore.

Barnett is like the albatross from Rhyme of the Ancient Marriner. Everybody on the boat dies....except him.
Hank Mardukis- February 22, 2011 at 7:43 am
@ viva
Werdums the sick fuck leaning in trying to catch a whiff
Hank Mardukis- February 22, 2011 at 7:39 am
Barnett is one of the big reasons I'm watching this tournament, insufferble cockstain that he is. I wanna see if he has any real, non can crushing wins left in him (which he will accomplish by beating.....brett rogers?!?). Anyway, him against reem in the final would make my dick hard (in the most heterosexual way possible) since fedor-reem is now impossible. Assuming he can get past sergei of course (this I'm not actually sure of).

Oh yeah before I forget:

(yes cartwheels) FUCK YES LOGIN PAGE IS BACK (yes cartwheels)
youenjoyzedella- February 22, 2011 at 7:31 am
A "Scrap Pack" April 9th card could hold me over for a little...
GILL-uh-TEEN- February 22, 2011 at 7:29 am
Would be nice to have the next round be in Houston so I could go see it. Although we all know Texas MMA events are always screwy.
Viva Hate- February 22, 2011 at 7:28 am
Coker is def smelling a fart in the picture, I am guessing horsemeat causes some putrid gas.
ccman- February 22, 2011 at 7:26 am
@ miscued That tito rumor is a blatant lie. He fell and hit his head splunking jennas vag looking for the centerof the earth.
Dog Dicks Magoo- February 22, 2011 at 7:19 am
I still would like to know how it's possible for Josh Barnett to do roids but still have love handles.
missedcue- February 22, 2011 at 6:52 am
Is Scott Coker capable of getting anything accomplished with his promotion at this point? Wildman Denny puts on fights and finds venues for Christ sake!! How can Scott Coker not find a state or COUNTRY other than California to hold an event at?!?! Ok that was months of frustration over the dysfunctional operations at Strikeforce venting out. Now on a calmer note I heard Tito got a concussion after climbing the empire state building and being struck in the head by a biplane.
ccman- February 22, 2011 at 6:45 am
Turd Furgeson- February 22, 2011 at 6:37 am
Ditch him? He's the second best fighter in the tournament. Hopefully Sherdog's source is wrong. I'm really hopin Strikeforce is able to pull this thing off without too much trouble.