(“That whole Zuffa thing was just a gag too, right? No? That one was for real? Rats.” Pic: Prommanow)
From a Strikeforce press release …
STOCKTON, Calf. — Strikeforce CEO Scot Coker held a press conference here on Friday to announce that tonight’s scheduled Challengers event at the Stockton Arena was just an elaborate April Fool’s Day joke, one that he admitted had gone too far.
Saying the whole idea was “just a goof,” Coker said he was surprised more people didn’t catch on sooner. “Come on, like we’re going to host an event in the most miserable city in the country, headlined by Rodrigo Damm?” Coker said. “Not even Showtime would go for that crap.”
He said during the fight company’s 9 p.m. EST timeslot the premium network would instead air a rerun of “Inside NASCAR” and a film titled “Kiss and Tail,” which Coker said he planned to DVR from his room at the Stockton Residence Inn.
The MMA executive also said fans who’d purchased tickets to see the event would get at least partial refunds. Strikeforce spokesperson Mike Aframowitz pointed out that wouldn’t be a problem, because the company hadn’t actually sold any tickets.
“I’ve heard there might be an issue with tickets,” Coker then said. “I don’t personally know how many tickets we’ve sold. Once more information is available, we’ll share it with you.”
Aframowitz repeated that no tickets had been sold.
News that the show was just a put-on was met with relief by Rodrgio Damm. The Brazilian who has lost three of his last four fights said for a while there he was worried Strikeforce might be serious about having him fight Wilcox.
“This was very big bad thing for me,” Damm said. “This guy, he looks like monkey, no?”
Coker said Wilcox would be matched against a more legitimate lightweight opponent just as soon as Strikeforce got around to signing one. To conclude the press conference, Coker laughed and pounded his fist on the podium before exiting the stage, pointing at the crowd of reporters and shouting, “I got you! I fucking got you! You should’ve seen your faces!”