“And then the hair on my arms stood up, and I felt a cold hand on the back of my neck, and a voice saying … “Well, well, well, motherfucker.” PicProps: AllElbows
Scott Coker commented today during a media call today about the possibility of awarding the Strikeforce heavyweight championship to the winner of the Heavyweight Grand Prix, saying that the decision hasn’t been made, but that the company probably would not do so.
Because, you know, why would you?
After promoting a tournament as a way to “finally answer once and for all who is the world’s most dangerous man” (uh, hello? Ken Shamrock. /thread), obviously the most rational thing to do is hand the winner a large trophy or a poster-sized check, right? But to go ahead and award that winner the title of “champion”, a title that is currently vacant? Well that’s just not a decision they’re in any hurry to make.
Now call me crazy, but it seems Scott Coker believes that the belts he gives to fighters are cursed. I mean cursed like “made from the skin of blind puppies”, “hexed by crazy-haired blood witches”, “directly connected to Cenobites” cursed. Nothing else could explain the ghost town that is Strikeforce Championville, USA, but that it’s been built on the sacred land of indigenous peoples whose souls rest uneasily.
Heavyweight champ Overeem: gone, and no title for the GP winner. Light heavyweight champ Henderson: free agent, probably gone. Welterweight champ Nick Diaz: gone for a GSP superfight. Coker isn’t in a hurry to crown a new guy there, either. Melendez would be gone, too, but the UFC picture at 155 looks like the DMV complete with a sign that says “Take a Number”. The women’s division is plagued with similar absences, but that’s really an entirely different dynamic. Unless the title belts are haunted by angry ghosts hungry for vengeance.
Clearly, Coker has gotten the message that the UFC will handpick fighters from his roster, and he’s powerless to do anything about it. So he’s taken the ingenious tactic of refusing to make new champions, like he’s the babysitter in the house with the hook-wielding escaped lunatic and as long as he doesn’t acknowledge the problem, he won’t get gutted even though the call is coming from inside the house!
That analogy may have gotten out of hand, but the craziest thing is this: Coker just might be on to something. Rather than have a bunch of belts that might as well say “Gone to UFC, BRB” on them, maybe focusing on putting on good fights with good matchups and an odd tournament or two would help carve out a solid niche for the promotion. Accepting a role as a feeder organization, and excelling at it, could be the best thing for Strikeforce as part of the Zuffa family.
Of course, that would put the promotion on a collision course with Bellator, but with Zuffa backing and cable distribution deals already in place, Strikeforce would smash Bellator in ratings.
Either that, or Coker is going to need to get those belts into a containment unit.