(Let me get this straight…Catchweight bouts have title implications, now?)
Strikeforce held a media conference call today ahead of its mid-week June 16 show next Wednesday. On the call were Renato "Babalu" Sobral, his manager, Richard Welner, his opponent on the card, Robbie Lawler and Strikeforce president, Scott Coker.
Some head-scratching announcements came out of the Q&A such as:
• The winner of the Sobral-Lawler 195-pound catchweight bout will likely get
a title shot in their next Strikeforce appearance. Coker said that Lawler would
likely face Ronaldo "Jacare" Souza for the strap that Jake Shields
will likely may vacate, should he choose to sign with another organization. Souza is 2-0
in Strikeforce and Lawler is 1-1 in his past two fights in the promotion. I’m
not sure how beating a light heavyweight in a 195-pound catchweight bout
would move Lawler up in the rankings, but what do I know about MMAth?
• Babalu may be matched up with training partner and Strikeforce light
heavyweight champ Muhammed "King Mo’" Lawal, which seems odd
considering that the Brazilian fighter stated earlier this week that he was
moving down to middleweight to avoid a probable fight with Lawal. The
reason the fight with Lawler is at 195 is that Sobral said he needs a bit more
time to transform his body to middleweight proportion. Maybe his manager
and Coker didn’t get the memo.
• Lawler switched from Matt Hughes‘ H.I.T. Squad gym in Illinois to an
undisclosed Arizona gym where he says he is training with several division I
wrestlers. (My guess is he’s holed up at The Lion’s Den in Scottsdale
working with Ryan Bader, C.B. Dollaway and Aaron Simpson.)
• The winner of Fedor-Werdum on June 26 will likely get the next shot at
Overeem this year. (unless it’s Fedor, in which case they will have to
negotiate with M-1 until so much time passes that Overeem will have to take
a fight with another opponent to remain active or risk having fans attack him
for shirking his SF responsibilities.)
• An announcement could be made in the next ten days regarding a
possible Strikeforce middleweight tournament. Doesn’t an announcement that
there will likely be an announcement make the second one a bit anticlimactic?
• Gus Johnson will be Cover Girl’s latest spokesmodel.