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Scott Coker Says Strikeforce is Done Teasing Fans With Heavyweight Bouts That Never Happen

(If you fire Jerry Millen, I’ll get rid of Gus Johnson. Shake on it.)

According to Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker, in 2011 the promotion will match each of its top heavyweight fighters up against each other and not just tease the fans by mentioning the prospect of said matches.

During an appearance on Sherdog’s Beatdown Radio Show on Wednesday Coker said his organization is planning on going all-in next year and aren’t going to hold anything back to protect certain future fights.

“One thing I can tell you is all these guys … Alistair, Fedor, Fabricio, Josh Barnett, [Antonio] ‘Bigfoot’ [Silva], [Sergei] Kharitonov, Andrei Arlovski, Brett Rogers — all those guys are all going to fight each other in 2011,” Coker said. “We’re not going to hold anything back. You’re going to see these guys fight the toughest guys because really, if you’re a heavyweight, there are no easy fights in Strikeforce. It’s arguably the best heavyweight division in the world, and I think Josh Barnett said it best. The competition is here. He signed with us because he wants to fight all those guys. We’re going to put those fights together, and I think the fans are going to love it.” 

Coker backtracked slightly on an announcement he made last week that they would be revealing Fedor’s next opponent in the next two weeks, changing the time estimate to one month, but he said that "The Last Emperor," would definitely be re-signing with Strikeforce.

“He’s not going to be back this year because the schedule is already full. Who he fights [next], that’s something that we’ll probably have an announcement in the next, I would say, four weeks we’ll have an announcement on how we’re going to unveil this whole thing.”

As far as when Fedor’s recurring nightmare, Fabricio Werdum will be returning to the fold, Coker said it could be mid to late March before we see the Brazilian back.

“The message that I got from his manager is that he will be available probably late first, early second quarter of next year,” Coker said. “Injuries take time. We’re not going to rush him. He just came off a big victory. … When he comes back, we want him to be 100-percent healthy.”

Touching on his heavyweight champion, Alistair Overeem‘s decision to compete in K-1 World Grand Prix 2010, rather than take a proposed fight with Antonio Silva in December, Coker said he gave "The Demolition Man" his blessing to compete in the revered kickboxing tournament and that he is hopeful they will have him back to defend his belt sooner than later.

“It’s very clear in our agreement with Alistair that we have booking priority,” Coker said of allowing Overeem to fight in K-1. “So we could have easily said no, but then is it really fair to him? It’s a personal goal of his. Let him go try to be the best standup fighter in the world. … The best strikers in the world fight in K-1 in Japan. He already won his first fight. I thought he looked amazing, and now he’s going to go into the finals and fight Tyrone [Spong], who is no joke. I think Alistair is going to have his hands full with that fight, but we’re going to support him and we’re going to wish him well and hopefully he can win the whole tournament. Then he can come back the Strikeforce champion and the K-1 heavyweight champion. As far as accomplishments, I’ve never seen that done before.”

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Mr_Misanthropy- October 7, 2010 at 3:00 pm
Scott Coker should start his own t-shirt company. I hear successful "big money" fight promoting and men's fashion design go hand in hand. Pyrotechnic explosions, Rockstar, and chinese dragons fighting skeleton warriors in a forest of razor wire and dead trees under the full moon light. Throw in some Megadeth, trade Gus Johnson for Donald Trump and we're good to go.
dogpt3- October 7, 2010 at 2:23 pm
if anything it would be dana who doesnt take the bet, much more to lose. Its only a matter of time until SF goes under
Big Jumpin Dad- October 7, 2010 at 2:17 pm
@ ReX13

You are not funny
Mr_Misanthropy- October 7, 2010 at 2:00 pm
Please Mr. Coker, tell me another bedtime story! Except for this time tell it with the part where the white rabbit meets the Tooth Fairy and Santa Claus saves Christmas from the evil clutches of Christmas-hating liberal democrats and Josh Barnett.

(Side Note: I would actually pay to watch Josh Barnett fight Santa Claus, as long as all drug testing procedures are off so Santa doesn't have to cycle off the HGH.)
itsgalf- October 7, 2010 at 1:48 pm
A Strikeforce Royal Rumble would be excellent!!
Kimbos Bread- October 7, 2010 at 1:30 pm
@El Famous Burrito

grizzly Adams did have a beard!
ccman- October 7, 2010 at 1:28 pm
Not so sure coker would be the gambler here. Its like betting your weeks wages vs. My house
dogpt3- October 7, 2010 at 12:37 pm
If this was 5 years ago then SF has the best HW division but times change. They should have a super fight matching up UFC HW's vs SF HW's and whichever promotion has the most wins inherits the other company. Put your money where your mouth is Coker.
mma samurai- October 7, 2010 at 12:16 pm
I may catch some flack for this but since we're on the subject of Frank Mir I was actually interested to see if he could drop all the way down to LHW and take a few fights there. He would probably cut down from about 220 or so and would be a big LHW. I still think there could be some interesting match ups there and just for S&G's throw in a fight against Lil' Nog for the storyline aspect. Maybe this is more from a fight fan stand point rather than a money making stand point but I'd enjoy it.
Almost North- October 7, 2010 at 11:46 am
My biggest issue with the new Mir is this:

He came in as a jitz guy, and that is his major advantage against most of the division.

Since the first Brock fight I can recall one serious submission attempt, and I barely count that because all he did was grab onto a rocked Kongo in a fight that was already over.

ccman- October 7, 2010 at 11:38 am
Agreed.... and chin stricks will never be allowed, they are the equvalent of dim mok.

I am falling off the Mir wagon, he needs to decide the type of HW he wants to be and stay there. Personally i like Mir at a lean 255, in the most non-gay way it can be said, like assume strippers on poles in the background and a Beer water fountain in the corner surrounded by mounted animal heads i killed with my teeth non-gay.
Almost North- October 7, 2010 at 11:33 am
Big foot for sure, in fact I have him at number one if they ever allow chin strikes.

I'm not really sure about the 5 spot in the UFC as there isn't a clear choice...but I just can't buy into the Mir hype. Maybe its just that last fight....
ihateemo- October 7, 2010 at 11:33 am
"He’s not going to be back this year because the schedule is already full."

I'm so sure Coker turned around and said to M-1 Global, "Sorry guys, we're too packed to have Fedor on a card for the rest of the year, call me in a few months and I'll see if there's a spot."
ccman- October 7, 2010 at 11:24 am
@ North, who would you have round out the last spot on either promo then?

SF, Big foot??
UFC, Big Country? Nog? Maybe big country, think Nog is bout done.
munche- October 7, 2010 at 11:22 am
@Smitty: I'll give SF credit when they start making fights instead of just signing guys who do jack shit. They signed Kharitonov months ago, and nothing. Signed Barnett, nothing.

Their strongest division by far is HW, but since June the only HW they had fight was Bobby Lashley, and he lost. They've got a who's who of fighters who aren't fighting. If they want to be taken seriously, book some fucking fights.

Coming out and announcing that you might have an announcement in 4 weeks is nothing. It's inept. Put some fights together, assholes.

Now a word from my bright side: Strikeforce HW GP? It's so crazy it just might work. If it happens, mark my words, Daniel Cormier wins.
Hum Deez Nutz- October 7, 2010 at 11:15 am
Fedor 1st rd TKO via cookie dough choke.
imabigfan- October 7, 2010 at 11:14 am
I don't get the whole "Barnett single-handedly took down an organization" argument." He definitly didn't do affliction any favors but the writing was pretty well on the wall well before his electric piss (boogy woogy woogy woogy). Isn't that argument DFW fodder any-damn-way? I'm still interested to see him get in a ring and actually fight and I agree that he needs a couple "tuner" fights to see exactly where he is. But if he's where he was or even near, I think he could turn some heads, if not lab results, in Strikeforce.
Almost North- October 7, 2010 at 11:13 am
I'm not really sure Mir or Arlovski are top 5 in anything except amount of money spent on hair product.
ccman- October 7, 2010 at 11:03 am
ninja, i am really curious how you match that up where SF wins all 5. hell i can't see 3.

obviously the weakest oppenents on the UFC side are Mir and JDS, but do not see Barnett or Arlovski beating either. Lesner and Carwin would steam roll any of them... yes i include Fedor, Velazquez would be favored and even money with Fedor. And Overeem avoids wrestlers, because he hates to leave his Kick boxing stance and defend takedowns so he aint matching with Les, car, vel.

Seriously trying to see 5 wins or even more than 2. Not hating.
RwilsonR- October 7, 2010 at 11:02 am
Coker told us nothing here that he hasn't already said. And it was funny to hear him say how he could have pre-empted Overeem from fighting in K-1 and made him come and fight for them if he wanted, when he spent nearly 2 years complaining about how he couldn't control Overeem and make him come back and defend his belt. I like Coker, but his masters at CBS/Showtime call the shots. He is just another, very bloated, figurehead.

And @ Fedor Penn - co-promotion and open contracts are the reason why Overeem is tied up. No thanks. It will hurt the sport in the long run.
Fedor Penn- October 7, 2010 at 10:52 am
Everyone just co-promote with each other already!
NinjaNerd8- October 7, 2010 at 10:52 am
I think the HW divisions of the two are pretty even.

Fedor, Barnett, Arlovski, Overeem, Werdum.

Lesnar, Velasquez, JDS, Carwin, Mir.

You could match those ten up in such a way that either organization wins all five.
Smitty- October 7, 2010 at 10:50 am
Some of you haters need to take Dana's beans and frank outta your mouth, and give props where props are due. I've been a UFC fan since before the "F" brothers and Dana took over, and it's no secret that they're the best promotion out there. However, Strikeforce has been putting on some decent shows, and they do have a nice stable of fighters. Just because some of them couldn't cut it in the UFC doesn't mean people don't want to see them fight. And say what you want, but there are still people that would watch a Josh Barnett fight. Especially the one against Fedor if it ever came about. You losers are the same big mouths that were saying Strikeforce wouldn't last this long. MMA is MMA. If you're a fan, you'd watch a good fight no matter what promotion is putting it on. Not hate on fighters because Dana doesn't like em.