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Strikeforce Postpones Heavyweight Grand Prix Until June

(Will Strikeforce pull off this tournament?)

Strikeforce announced today via press release that its planned April 9 event which was supposed to play host to the remainder of the opening round bouts of its heavyweight grand prix tournament will be put on hold until the summer. According to the promotion’s CEO, Scott Coker, they ran out of time to properly promote the event.

“Strikeforce is coming off a record presale and impressive attendance for the kickoff of the Grand Prix at IZOD Center in New Jersey that also drew a record viewership on SHOWTIME for live MMA,” said STRIKEFORCE CEO Scott Coker. “To build on the tremendous momentum from New Jersey we needed the proper time to promote an event of this magnitude, which is why we have decided to continue the Tournament on June 18 at American Airlines Center in Dallas, a venue that has been identified as one of the premier sports and entertainment venues in the U.S.”

So let me get this straight. Strikeforce wanted to build on the tremendous momentum created by the success of its first grand prix quarter final event, so it decided it would be best to delay the second event by two months? Seems like a logical way to keep the momentum going.

If it’s any consolation, the April show will feature a pair of title bouts and a handful of other decent fights.

Brash Brit Paul Daley will take on welterweight champ Nick Diaz in a bout that will likely be the culmination of four months of back and forth insults and bickering between the two. Diaz’s Team Cesar Gracie training partner Gilbert Melendez will attempt to defend his title for the second time when he battles former Shooto lightweight champ Tatsuya Kawajiri.

Also rumored to be on the card is a light heavyweight tilt between former Strikeforce light heavyweight champ Gegard Mousasi and the only man to *really* beat current champ Rafael “Feijao” Cavalcante, Mike Kyle. It’s likely that the bout will decide who will have the next crack at Cavalcante or perhaps who will face former champ Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal on the Dallas card. Lawal, who has been rehabbing a surgery-requiring knee injury sustained in his loss to Feijao in August, announced last week that he will be fighting on the card.

Shinya Aoki will also make his Strikeforce return on the card to face DREAM featherweight champion Hiroyuki Takaya. In his last bout, Aoki suffered an embarrassing knockout loss to Yuichiro Nagashima at K-1 Dynamite! 2010, but because it was classified as an exhibition, the result is not reflected on his official record. Seeing the showboating Japanese fighter sprawled out on the canvas, though, trumps seeing a loss on his record any day. Takaya took Bibiano Fernandes to a unanimous decision at DREAM’s NYE show in his last outing to win the strap.

Even more exciting than the card itself will be Gus Johnson’s unveiling of Cover Girl’s new spring color collection.

Cagepotato Comments

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RwilsonR- March 2, 2011 at 5:18 pm
I'm a little concerned with the specifics Ballkick knows about the fashion industry, but still... funny shit!
Seoul Brother- March 2, 2011 at 4:40 pm
Goddamnit, Ballkick AGAIN FTW.
Ballkick- March 2, 2011 at 4:28 pm
On a side note I just read that Gus Johnson has hired recently disgraced Dior designer John Galliano as his personal fashion co-ordinator. This has created quite a stir in the LGBT community. All eyes will be on Strikeforce this June waiting to see how Fabulous Gus Johnson will look as he has his "Coming Out" on live TV.
Videodrome_NOW- March 2, 2011 at 1:59 pm
Hey. I'm your man for the Dallas show. Hook it up.
Seoul Brother- March 2, 2011 at 1:13 pm
Now THIS is partially why I love CagePotato. For photos and captions like this one. Fuckin' hilarious shit, guys.
RwilsonR- March 2, 2011 at 12:36 pm
^^ Barnett can't fight because he lost his license to fight, and the commission has to reinstate it. Since he blew them off at his previous scheduled hearing, refused to abide by any punishment, and chose to go overseas, they haven't yet reinstated his license.
I think they wanted to do it in Japan, and then looked at the costs involved, and that interest in the sport seems to be dying in Japan, and gave up that idea.
Sodak- March 2, 2011 at 11:27 am
Dude barnett popped for roids like years ago what the hells the problem why can't he fight? I'm sure this is whats screwing it up.
Smitty- March 2, 2011 at 10:52 am
@ ccman
I know it's gross dog, but when you're desparate, whattya gonna do.
We're getting tired of your freakin cameo appearances in this bitch. We want you stayin in! Wait.......You know what the fuck I meant!
KidDinomite- March 2, 2011 at 10:37 am
I have to admit, this is a really good way to lose your Heavyweight Champion to the UFC, and arguably a Top 5 Heavyweight, especially because he doesn't want to sit on the sidelines for too long and not make money. I bet Dana White is loving this.

I really like Strikeforce and want to see them give the UFC some good competition, because monopolies suck, but this is a realy big screw up by Scott Coker. I think it's because they signed Josh Barnett, who should be known as "The MMA Promotion Assassin."
Ginas_jugs- March 2, 2011 at 10:27 am
You guys are all too busy sucking Dana's dick to know anything about MMA. The UFC is more like the WWF than anything else.
ccman- March 2, 2011 at 9:45 am
M-1 will not let Strikeforce fold.

until they have milked ...every...last... cent.
IsnappedYourarm- March 2, 2011 at 9:40 am
Strikforce will be out of business by the end of the year. If Reem loses they will be out of business by August.
just some dong- March 2, 2011 at 9:26 am
How can they still call this a tournament? Tournaments are supposed to have a sense of urgency about them. Waiting until April 9th sounded ridiculous to me, but this...? Terrible. CP called it—this was never going to work.
RwilsonR- March 2, 2011 at 9:20 am
See you guys for the finals of this GP when Shane DelRosario faces Chad Griggs in 2016!
It will take place at an undisclosed location in the Caribbean, and will now be held under the promotion of Nemesis Fighting, which will have acquired Strikeforce a few months earlier for $24 in trinkets and beads.
Waxedpants- March 2, 2011 at 9:19 am
I don't see any of the usual strikeforce cronies chiming in on this one.
knucklesamitch- March 2, 2011 at 9:09 am
at least Bellator is starting back up.
Old_Bald_and_Irish- March 2, 2011 at 8:55 am
"Ran out of time to properly promote it."

Uhh....yeah. Right.

Here's my guess: Strikeforce was all set to go in Japan. Then, the Yakuza stepped in, Coker saw a catastrophe coming, bailed on Japan and realized he couldn't get anything worth while booked in the US for that date.

I at least give him props for going big in Dallas.

Now, the question STILL remains: will Barnett be licensed to fight in Texas?
Viva Hate- March 2, 2011 at 8:54 am
They didn't tell the truth, they are currently working on the fix for Fedor.
Videodrome_NOW- March 2, 2011 at 8:50 am
I got a great idea...let's reward a guy who couldn't make weight for his title shot by giving him..Oh yes.....another fucking title shot. Go Strikeforce!
jimbonics- March 2, 2011 at 8:48 am
Ran out of time to properly promote the event?!?!?
I expected some sort of excuse, but not THAT excuse.
RwilsonR- March 2, 2011 at 8:46 am
Come on guys, they have to make sure to get Overeem and Barnett's cycles in sync.
ccman- March 2, 2011 at 8:45 am
2.8 minutes? thats like 6x.

and you had sex WITH YOUR OWN GIRLFRIEND?? thats gross bro.
Smitty- March 2, 2011 at 8:40 am
It makes perfect sense. Why just last night I told my chick, "Listen, I know I came in 2.8 minutes. Instead of hoppin right back in there while you're still hot and ready, I'm gonna sleep for a while and give you some time to get even hotter and readyer THEN, it'll be even better when we restart this thing in the morning!" She was gone when I woke up to go pee an hour later. Boy did that bitch miss out!!!!
ccman- March 2, 2011 at 8:40 am
I am digging deep to find anything that remotely feels like shock.

Once again that godzilla sized marketing department at strikeforce dropped the ball. say good bye momentum, say good bye casual fan interest, say hello to the Barnett factor. Anyone else think maybe finding a venue problem is another way of saying 'we can't get Josh licensed"???
Fried Taco- March 2, 2011 at 8:38 am
Oh, and will they substitute in an alternate for the HWGP if one of the participants dies from boredom while waiting for the fights to happen? Maybe that's their plan to get Fedor back in.