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Strikeforce’s Coker Talks Fighters, Potential Matchups

(More headkicking in store for Shamrock in ’09?)

Ever since Strikeforce purchased “select assets” from Pro Elite we’ve been wondering a) which select assets, and b) what the hell does he plan to do with them?  In an interview with USA Today, Coker inched closer to answering those questions, saying he’s spoken with 10 Pro Elite fighters and only one of them has tried to renegotiate his deal (we assume this was Kimbo Slice insisting he take a pay cut and be place on the untelevised undercard).  

Coker also said he “would like to invite K.J. Noons to fight [Strikeforce lightweight champ]" Josh Thomson, and added that he’s in talks with Noons’ agent, Mark Dion, to make that happen. 

You’ll recall that Noons essentially turned his back on EliteXC when they tried to make him fight Nick Diaz on CBS and Noons was unhappy with the payscale and with rematching Diaz in general, who was slated to make more than him despite losing the first meeting due to a cut stoppage.  Thomson is a quality, name opponent, and if Noons decides he doesn’t want to fight him either, we in the MMA world would probably do well to forget about “King” Karl altogether and let him box his little heart out.

As for other fights on Coker’s mind right now…

- With Cung Le as the Strikeforce middleweight champ and Robbie Lawler as the EliteXC middleweight champ, Coker said that “maybe Robbie could come take a fight with us and then eventually fight Cung.”  And by “eventually,” he probably means after Le has kicked Frank Shamrock’s ass on TV again, which Coker said he’d like to do at the end of the year.

- Strikeforce’s official heavyweight champion is still the itinerant Alistair Overeem, who is rumored to be in talks with the UFC, but Coker said they “definitely want Alistair back this year fighting in the USA.”  Interesting phrasing there.

- With the addition of Pro Elite’s welterweights, Strikeforce will attempt to establish a 170-pound title some time this year.

- At light heavyweight, Strikeforce’s champ is still “Babalu” Sobral, said Coker, “and there’s a lot of great fights for him at 205 with the two rosters combined.”  So…we’re not even pretending that Affliction might be around long enough to vie for his affections, then?

- Coker made sure to mention that he loves to have a female fight on every card.  As for whether Gina Carano would be one of those females, and whether she’d still compete at 140 pounds, which she habitually struggled to make, Coker said only:

“I know that she’s fought anywhere from 135 to 145. I’m not sure if she ever fought heavier than that. I’m sure I’ll sit down with them and decide what weight, but I think she was going to fight Cyborg for the title at 140.”

The key word there is “was.”  Now if only Strikeforce can finally turn that was into a will.

Cagepotato Comments

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Anonymous- March 4, 2009 at 5:09 am
with all these good match ups, i think strikeforce will be more exciting than the UFC. Cant wait, thx Scott Coker.
Anonymous- February 9, 2009 at 3:20 pm
Joe Riggs / Nick Diaz 2
Tito / Frank Shamrock 2
Gina / Cyborg
Kimbo / Ken Shamrock
Kimbo / Brett Rogers
Lawler / Radach
Lawler / Cung Le
Josh Thomson / KJ Noons
Thomson / Melendez 2
Thomson / Ishida
Ishida / Melendez 2
Frank Trigg / Cung Le
Trigg / Lawler 2
James Thompson / Alistair Overeem
Tito / Babalu
The potential match ups are endless.
Imbecile- February 9, 2009 at 2:19 pm
WOW! Cung Le, Frank Shamrock, KJ Noons, and maybe if we are lucky, Gina Carano and Kimbo! I am so speechless that all I can say is......... meh.

And give Hexed a fucking t-shirt for his comment, already.
Dmonicideals- February 9, 2009 at 1:32 pm
Hexed, you are a modern day prophet.

I just have 3 words: YAY!!!!! More MMA!!!!!!!

This is nothing but a good thing. While Strikeforce is a small company, they are still kinda strong. If they get the CBS TV deal, and don't go offering people $$ to stand, and put on fights better than Kimbo/Thompson (shouldn't be too hard), they COULD over time be a real contender for the UFC. It will take time though. But if they can get 1 out of every 3 good prospects, upcoming fighters, and 1 out of those 3 becomes a great fighter? Give it 10 years, if they are still around, it'll be SF v. UFC.
Anonymous- February 9, 2009 at 1:28 pm
for the ppl suggesting a lawler vs diaz rematch its probably not going to happen because since their first fight lawlers put on weight and moved up a weight class while diaz cut wieght and moved down a weight class ,but in an open weight bout i have no doubt robbie lawler would murder him. if they met at 170 again its a tough one to call and if diaz decided to be a man and fight at 185 which he could he would get smashed.
gesus- February 9, 2009 at 1:14 pm
@ Hexed79:

gesus- February 9, 2009 at 1:01 pm
i cant wait to see more female fights on the card, im happy they arent abandoning that..
as for pro elite, this was a smart decision to take the elitexc fighters to add to the roster.

and i reaallly wanna see a cung le v. robbie lawler match!
Hexed79- February 9, 2009 at 12:58 pm
Ten years ago, if you told me a chick who struggles to weigh only 140 pounds could kick my ass and give me a boner, I would have called you insane.

Thank you, Gina Carano, for helping me believe in the impossible.
Old, Bald and Irish- February 9, 2009 at 12:38 pm

Uhh...I think your right.

Gina is one tough fighter and she pwned Kelly Kolbold. But Cyborg?

Yikes....she's a whole 'nother thang!

Cyborg looks brutal in the ring. It would be a tough fight for Gina.

But, Gina does a good job setting up her game plan and stickin' with it. She seems pretty resiliant too, she takes a lot of tough shots but comes outta the cage pretty unscathed.
ADW- February 9, 2009 at 12:30 pm
I'm telling you guys..Cyborg is going to paralyze Gina Carano. I'm talking straight up paraplegic. If those two step into the cage that step is the last step Gina is going to take.

Old, Bald and Irish- February 9, 2009 at 12:29 pm
@ Bundy

Dude, take some time and punch "Cung Le" into the "SEARCH" box on YouTube. Then come back and tell me you still think he's "over rated".

The reason you don't see Le's ground game is because he is so good at kickin' people to death. But if he does have to hit the mat, he's an all-state wrestler and has been working extensively on jiu jitsu the past years. Did you see Shamrock vs Le? It was a freakin' war!

Le's the real deal. He's got killer takedowns; arguably, the best in MMA. His striking is effective. His defense on takedowns is phenominal and his kicks BREAK PEOPLES ARMS!
Anonymous- February 9, 2009 at 12:26 pm
You people are fucking idiots!
Coker clearly stated we want Alistair fighting in the U.S. again and then some jackass says let's see Alistair vs. Bigfoot. Even though he's suspended from fighting in the U.S for at least 1 year.
Then a lot more morons keep throwing around the word epic as if it just means a very good fight. Look up the word epic dip shits!
You guys missed all the best possible matchups.
Josh Thomson / Frank Shamrock at some sort of a catch weight.
Frank Shamrock / Tito Ortiz 2 if Tito signs the earlier deal he had worked out with Pro Elite.
Tito Ortiz / Babalu
Tito Ortiz / Bobby Southworth
James Thompson / Ken Shamrock
Kimbo Slice / Ken Shamrock
Kimbo Slice / Brett Rogers
Gina Carano / Erin Toughill
Gina Carano / Cris Cyborg
and the best thing Strikeforce could give everyone Gina Carano's TITS exposed!
el flaco- February 9, 2009 at 11:21 am

Absolutly brilliant!!!!! Great story line.
Anonymous- February 9, 2009 at 11:20 am
Gina vs Toughill at 150!!!!
google- February 9, 2009 at 10:10 am
If a company out there really wants to compete with UFC, then you have to get a little over the top in your match making. Why not have chung le fight shamrock in a falls count anywhere match, with the winner fighting lawler on the same night, with guest ref. Jerry "the King" Lawer, and they could work a angle that Robbie is his love child? That would be awesome. We could have run ins from Kimbo, then Seth comes out to help, then in awesome stare down between the 2 to set up Seth Kimbo 2 . This time, it will take place in the parking lot outside the arena to give Kimbo the home field advantage. Man, the possibiltys are endless.
GSP's vaseline- February 9, 2009 at 10:10 am
Diaz vs. Lawler 2 would be fantastic!!
the first one was epic, and both are far better fighters now.
lilpo0ts- February 9, 2009 at 10:09 am
have that bounce, and tell the cops omg i didnt know people could actually take you to the ground and punch you in the face repeatedly. sign a movie deal for broken dreams a cung le story..
lilpo0ts- February 9, 2009 at 10:07 am
frank iis gonna smoke cung le, who are we kidding seriously..nice kicks and striking, but when shamrock puts you up against that cage and start dirty boxing you its a force to be reckoned with. and im sure this time it wont be a "stand up war" i think cung is gonna get his face split wide open for the firs time and not like this sport anymore. you can take that to the bank and cash it..
Bundy- February 9, 2009 at 10:06 am
Man you people overrate Cung Le
He has fought nobody, but, Shamrock in the most overrated fight of 2008
AlphaDog- February 9, 2009 at 9:36 am
I hope Josh Thompson beats the crap out of King Karl and we never have to hear about this guy again. Cung Le v Anderson Silva would be a hella of a standup war.
Anonymous- February 9, 2009 at 9:23 am
One Two, that pesky steroid suspension is sort of in the way of that one...
BuckWild- February 9, 2009 at 9:18 am
I would like to see Nick Diaz vs Lawler II or Le vs Lawler before le vs Shamrock
beforeskin- February 9, 2009 at 9:14 am
Cung Le vs Frank Shamrock II would be epic.
Fedor a million ankles- February 9, 2009 at 9:07 am
Cung Le vs. Robbie Lawler, PLEASE!!!
One Two- February 9, 2009 at 9:06 am
Yeah there is alistair vs bigfoot anyone?