("Hey, I thought you guys said you would call me if you were gonna do anything tonight." PicProps: Fighters Only)
Well, this is only going to fuel more speculation about you know what. As Strikeforce moves to finalize its March 5 card in Columbus (tickets go on sale tomorrow, y’all), the recently postponed rubber match between Jason “Mayhem” Miller and Tim Kennedy has been scrapped entirely, at least for the immediate future. Instead, Kennedy will fight Luke Rockhold, the company announced on Monday via press release. That’s at least some compensation for an already pissed off Kennedy, who went public recently with a list of fighters he said had turned down bouts with him and his complaints that Strikeforce was leaving him to die on the vine from sheer inactivity.
No reason for the change was given, though MMA Junkie quotes PR spokesperson Mike Afromowitz saying (in fairly typical Strikeforce fashion) that “the matchup had never been signed in the first place.” In any case, it appears to complete a four-fight card for the cleverly named “Strikeforce: Columbus,” and essentially leaves Miller without a date. Interesting (but probably coincidence) that this switch goes down less than 48 hours after middleweight champion Jacare Souza successfully defended his crown against Robbie Lawler and longtime Miller crush object Nick Diaz stretched Evangelista “Cyborg” Santos to retain his welterweight belt. Wild speculation, anyone?
For his part, Souza – who has history with Miller after “Mayhem” called him (and we’re quoting here) a “vagina-head Brazilian” when their Dream 9 bout was declared a no contest due to an illegal soccer kick – was dismissive of the idea of fighting the “Bully Beatdown” host again. So put off, in fact, that he reportedly switched from Portuguese to English when a reporter asked him about the possibility of a Miller rematch during the “Strikeforce: Diaz vs. Cyborg” postfight press conference this weekend.
“You kidding me man?” Souza said. “I beat this guy two times. No more!”
At that same media event, Diaz also didn’t have any nice things to say about his prospective future welterweight challengers, Paul Daley and Tyron Woodley. About Daley, who is fighting Yuya Shirai at BAMMA 5 next month, the champ provided this assessment:
“I’m not really impressed with Paul Daley as a mixed martial artist,” Diaz said. “He’s got great stand-up, sure, (but) … (against him) I just might do some karate … some wushu … I see me putting punches on him, maybe him trying to take me down, getting caught in a choke. He can run from me. I’d run him down and take him down and beat him on the ground. I dunno. ”
On the topic of Woodley, Diaz was a bit more characteristically, uh, confused. Or confusing. Or something.
“I don’t want to talk bad about anybody, (but) I don’t really have anything about him that impresses me,” he said. “I didn’t think he was a wrestler, but then I heard he was a wrestler. It was like, ‘OK.’ ”
So, there you go. Miller needs somebody to fight. Jacare needs somebody to fight. Diaz needs somebody to fight. You see where this is going, Strikeforce? Please, for the love of God, tell us you see where this is going.