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Scott Coker Probably Can’t F*cking Wait for 2010 to Be Over

(Sometimes the metaphor is just … too perfect. PicProps: Showtime)

So … not to be overly cynical … but we find it pretty hard not to start snickering from the very first line of USA Today’s recent holiday weekend interview with the Strikeforce CEO, when the newspaper boldly (read: blandly) proclaims: Scott Coker is approaching 2011 with optimism.

Well yeah, no shit. We’d be stoked about the new year too if we’d just witnessed our MMA company spend much of 2010 looking like a scared stray dog trying to work its way across a busy four-lane highway during rush hour traffic. Just to recap, this year Strikeforce — among other fails — staged an enormous brawl on national television, watched its awesome-sounding middleweight tournament go tits up before it even got past the planning stages, gave its middleweight champ to the UFC, stood dumbfounded when Fedor Emelianenko fucking lost to Fab Werdum, gaped while two Brazilian dudes nobody has ever heard of captured gold in two different weight classes, showed a complete and total inability to book the right fights and continued to slap itself on the proverbial forehead while suffering the whims of its largely absentee heavyweight champion.

Somehow, the stray dog made it to the other side of the Interstate but frankly we’d rather hit our own dick with a hammer than endure a year like the one Strikeforce just had. So forgive us if we can’t quite take Coker at face value when he implies that 2011 is “about more than surviving” for his company. It’s actually all about surviving and as much as the boss promises a 33 percent increase in Strikeforce programming next year, we can’t help but notice that for the bulk of this interview Coker just sounds like a dude who is taking it one day at a time.

“I’m going to have another conversation in the beginning of the year with CBS, and basically re-engage to see what the temperature is for another show on broadcast television,” Coker says, feeding us the same vague line he’s been repeating for months, which makes us believe he hasn’t even talked to anybody from CBS since Jason Miller and the Scrap Pack turned Strikeforce’s last network broadcast into a Saturday night bar fight at Senior Froggy’s. But Coker digresses …

“Also, we are putting together a syndication show,” he says. “We will be having another television platform in the sense that there’ll be a Strikeforce syndication show out there, a half hour recap-type show, promoting basically the fights that happened, up-and-coming fights, and building some of our stars.”

OK, fine. But pretend you’re Dana White for a minute. We know, it’s awesome, right? Now, if you’re spending your days trying to land a slew of network deals which (you claim, at least) will put you in over a billion homes worldwide while you’re also rumored to be considering launching your own 24-hour network, aren’t you absolutely laughing your ass off that your biggest competitor is turning in quotes like that one? Look, if Strikeforce gets its little half hour, tape-delayed recap show on ESPN or CBS in primetime, that’s great. If it gets it on Fox Sports Net? Well, then Strikeforce is going to start looking a lot more like the IFL than anyone at the home office should be comfortable wiith.

Strikeforce will do 20 shows next year, Coker contends, though that seems inconceivable when you consider the trouble the company is having just nailing together a serviceable card for this weekend’s Showtime event. Said shows will include “a championship fight every month in the first two quarters of 2011.” Wait, a championship fight every month until July? We’ll believe that when we see it. As for the company’s specific plans for 2011? Well, when Coker talks about those he actually just ends up repeating all the same shit he said for much of this year. That can’t be good.

“Here’s what I think,” Coker says. “This heavyweight division is robust. There are so many great match-ups for a lot of these guys. I think Alistair Overeem should fight Fabricio Werdum. I think Alistair should fight (Antonio) “Bigfoot” Silva. I think he should fight Fedor. I think that Fedor has three or four or five fights in front of him. There’s Kharitonov out there now. These guys have some amazing fights ahead of them, and the one thing I will promise you, these guys will fight each other next year. I think by the end of the first quarter, you’ll see some big things happening with some of our big guys.”

C’mon, son. Didn’t you just tell us you were through guaranteeing us heavyweight fights that never materialize? The promises are nice but for our money, the time is long since over for hearing about what Coker thinks. The only thing that matters now is what he can acutally do. It’s time to start playing hardball with these one-fight-a-year schmos. What’s the worst that could happen? They bolt for the UFC? Newsflash, dudes: They’re going to do that anyway. Might as well squeeze some decent fights out of them while you can.

As for the increase in programming, USA Today rightly points out that it will mean more instances of Strikeforce going head-to-head with the UFC, like it will this weekend during the “TUF 12” live finale. Is Coker worried that fans will increasingly tune in to the action in the Octagon instead of his slightly shittier version of the same product? Of course he is, but he’s not about to admit that to us …

“I think that will be something that probably happens more often in the future,” he says. “But hey, there can be more than one football game on a Sunday afternoon, right? I think there’s plenty of room.”

(Insert nervous laughter …) Yeah, man. 2011. Can’t wait.

Cagepotato Comments

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Your Dumb- November 30, 2010 at 10:50 am
Scott Coker is going to have a shit fit when he reads this article and show us all the text messages he has been sending CBS to make things happen.

You'll see.
Fluke666- November 29, 2010 at 6:37 pm
I do think that it is bad for the UFC not to have any competition. Look at the WWE/WCW example. No competition this will get stale. I'm a huge MMA fan and Strikeforce could be a great promotion. Yet this guy is messing this whole thing up. UFC wants Overeem and they will get him it's only a matter of time. Strikeforce should have a heavyweight tourney. Or go to Japan and have a open weight... (I'm only wishin' on the last one)
TheGreenBlurr- November 29, 2010 at 4:37 pm
Coker's face annoys me.
Primetyme199- November 29, 2010 at 2:20 pm
I think Dana would enjoy seeing the fighters he cuts get picked up by Strikeforce and do well. It would be great marketing for him and the UFC when he puts it out everywhere that guys he cut that couldn't make it in the UFC are dominating in Strikeforce.
RwilsonR- November 29, 2010 at 2:12 pm
Please leave your message after the beep: "Hey guys, it's still Scott. I think we might have gotten disconnected, or something. Strange. I hope you got my last message. So give me a call. I've got some great things planned... and you know, I got rid of that Shields guy, so things are looking pretty exciting coming up. You can reach me pretty much any time tomorrow between 8 and 5. Or you know, you can call me the next day... or pretty much any time next week. And forget what I said about the 8 to 5. You know, I pretty much have my phone on me all the time, so call whenever... well, not at like 2 in the morning, hahaha........ but, actually, 2 in the morning would be fine. Just call! Look forward to hearing from you. Bye." [click]
RwilsonR- November 29, 2010 at 2:11 pm
What's up Steampunk?! I'm with you man - it's like watching Rocky 5. Where you were cheering for the guy through the first four movies, now you just cringe watching him, hoping through the whole movie that he will just hang up those gloves, but knowing that they wouldn't have released this piss poor movie if they actually intended for him to walk away gracefully...
RwilsonR- November 29, 2010 at 1:41 pm
Please leave your message after the beep: "Uhhh, hey there CBS, it's Scott again. Just wanted to check in... not sure if you got my other messages. I've called a few times. Well... a few times a day since our last event together. You know... not sure if you didn't get the messages because of the holidays, or what... cause you know, there was like the 4th of July, and then next thing you know it is Thanksgiving... so I wasn't sure if you were like, you know, out of the office or something. Anyway... uhh, I just wanted to make sure you had the right number for me cause I changed things up because of that whole business with Rebney, and..." [click]
Fluke666- November 29, 2010 at 1:41 pm
Why has strikeforce not dumped Overeem, the UFC wants him , their going to get him... They should just have a heavyweight tournament
El Guapo- November 29, 2010 at 12:52 pm
You still have to pay for the Showtime subscription, everybody. A few bucks a month is much better than paying 54.99 every couple of weeks(SILENCE). Especially when paying way more guarantees every fight will be good(MORE SILENCE).... Or your money back(CRICKETS CHIRPING)

Another reason we should be thankful for Asians(TUMBLEWEED ROLLS BY)
RaginAsian- November 29, 2010 at 12:32 pm
"if they succeed then all we get are some good, non-pay per view fights."

Too bad you still have to pay the Showtime subscription. And if I'm doing premium cable, I'm doing HBO for the originals, not Showtime for Strikeforce's cards packed with maybe one meaningful (and I use that term lightly) fight.
RSparrow- November 29, 2010 at 12:16 pm
I don't know whats worse, Coker's bullshit promises, or hearing Nick Ring speak. Both of these things make me cringe.
ccman- November 29, 2010 at 12:10 pm
Coker should from this point be called wigger... needs one, still a drug reference, and carries more optimism
El Guapo- November 29, 2010 at 11:49 am
(MMA)God forbid Strikeforce actually does well. I mean, shit, if they succeed then all we get are some good, non-pay per view fights. And nobody wants that..

On a non-sarcastic note, you know whenever that trailer park breezer of a ref gets the call somebody's gonna get f'kd up! Badly. It's against the meth-head code to stop a fight until one of the tweekers is half dead, thereby increasing one's chances of aquiring more of the aforementioned meth. Saw that on Dog the Bounty Hunter. "Keep ice out of paradise, bruddha."
Gladheateher- November 29, 2010 at 11:49 am
I totally agree with You Tai-Pan!
While the UFC has this merger coming into play it seems the person who is most benefiting from it is Scott Coker and StrikeForce.
As the UFC announces what fighter they dropping from the roster
Scott Coker must be totally amped to see the end of each UFC PPV card.
This time next week expect to see a couple get released. The biggest challenge for SF will be finding the venues and getting these fighters to agree to the match ups.
Tai-Pan- November 29, 2010 at 11:19 am
When I saw this article i thought oh shit what will Swedish say about Strikeforce this time, then to my surprise he had already commented and it wasn't even a hate inspired rant. Dissapointing, but then any article on strikeforce usually is.

But seriously, With the merger of the WEC and UFC their is just no way the UFC can hold on to their stable of fighters and with TUF making new names only to drop them after losing a fighter or two I think the picking up of UFC castoffs will work out for Strikeforce and Bellator. I am pretty optimistic that Strikeforce could be awesome.

However they seem woefully inept to do anything interesting or anything at all. Living in Canada I never get to see any Strikeforce shows unless they are on CBS. Challenger series seems to be a huge waste of time as well. I just don't get it they could do some interesting things and have some good shows with some decent fighters but can't ever get anything done.
Gladheateher- November 29, 2010 at 11:15 am
Scott Coker must be breathing a little bit easier now. They just announced a new opponent for Antonio Silvia. Mike Kyle is coming up from 205 to face the Big Foot!
Videodrome_NOW- November 29, 2010 at 11:15 am
Coker-"Please, Dana. I'm desperate and I don't know what to do. Please, I'm begging you, help me."

DW-" Well, Scott, I'm not completely soulless. Just put these tasty golden jewels in your mouth and call me A #1."

Coker-"Yuh Eh numbuh wuhn"

DW-"It's ok Scott, don't cry. I've got a whole slew of guys I can cut at any moment and send them over to you while we check out new talent, or just to give these guys somewhere else to fight while they work on their skills. Really, it's not a big deal."

Coker-"Thank you, Dana. Thank you."

DW-"I didn't say take my nuts out your mouth, did I, bitch?"
steampunk22- November 29, 2010 at 11:00 am
Goddamn, isn't it just painful to listen to/read sometimes? The relentless and unfounded optimism of Scott Coker is pretty fuckin' incredible.

At first, it was sort of endearing. You almost had to grudgingly respect the guy for standing his ground. He's like that little kid that stands up to the bully at recess. You're almost proud of him, despite the staggering odds against him.

And then he gets beat down. And you feel bad, but then he stands up for himself again. And you're sort of proud of him, again. Despite the odds of him failing being just as great. And then he gets beat down.

Scott, eventually even your supporters will start begging you to just stay down. Maybe you're ok with going out on your shield and no one else really caring about the gesture.

If you are, I applaud you. If you aren't? Dude, what the FUCK are you doing? That is some masochist shit right there.

I dunno, my two cents. Whatsup CP. RWILSONR = Big Pimpin!
KidDinomite- November 29, 2010 at 10:52 am
I just want to see him actually do something instead of constantly saying "There's things we have to do before we go ahead with this". It sounds like he doesn't really know what to do at this point. Like the Bellator co-promotion which would boost both company's image. But he doesn't go through with it because he no doubt saw Eddie Alvarez utterly destroy Roger Huerta and he probably knows Gilbert Melendez pretty much stands no chance either. But it's what everyone wants to see, hell, even Melendez wants it to happen.

Also both companies could share their roster of fighters when they're not competing. How great would it be to see Hector Lombard take on Jacare in a non-title match? Or Dan Henderson fight in a middleweight or Light Heavyweight tournament?

Also, Coker could sign UFC cast offs, especially now since losing two fights instead of three means you're out of the UFC. They could really build up their Light Heavyweight roster and introduce new weight classes as well. And while you're at it, why not start a show like the Ultimate Fighter where you bring in prospective fighters and build them from the ground up?

Basically, there's a whole lot of right Coker could be doing (get rid of Gus Johnson) to correct his MMA league. It just seems he doesn't have the know how or the right people to make it happen. Such a shame too because I really like alternatives to UFC.
Swedish- November 29, 2010 at 10:51 am
Good assessment of Strikeforce... They should stay at B-level promotion level and not try to compete directly with the UFC.

Coker doesn't realize that he's driving the promotion into the ground. Stay as a feeder promo and let the pros handle the big fights.
Jack Bauer- November 29, 2010 at 10:37 am
I laughed my ass off when someone said the UFC would be a better promotion with Coker at the wheel. Love him or hate him, DW shits all over this joker. He's the Milton Waddams of MMA's office.