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Tag: heavyweight tournament

Unsubstantiated Reports say Strikeforce Close to Finalizing Japanese Stage of Heavyweight GP


("I hear Dothan, Alabama is beautiful this time of year." PicProps: SB Nation )

Strikeforce appears on the verge of a solution to its Josh Barnett problem on Friday, as at least one internet report contends the company is close to a deal to take the MMA veteran/troubled teen to Japan for the first round of its heavyweight grand prix. MMA-Japan.com – a site affiliated with the good folks at Middle Easy – published the four-line story alleging that Strikeforce will partner with Real Entertainment and “possibly M-1 (Global)” to  stage a show on April 10 that will go down in “the afternoon hours (in Japan) in order to be shown live in the United States.” The story cites no sources and just states all of the above as fact, but since the boys at the Easy usually know their shit, we figure it’s worth repeating.

Obviously, rumors that Strikeforce is eyeing an international venue for this leg of the GP have been percolating for a few weeks. If true, it’ll mark the first time one of America’s two “major” MMA promotions has ventured to Japan since UFC 29 back in 2000. It also means the company will have found a temporary way around Barnett’s ongoing legal issues. In addition, the April show is expected to include Alistair Overeem’s opening round bout against Fabricio Werdum and staging it overseas would save The Reem from having to “pass” any more of those "independent drug tests." That’s what you call a “two birds, one stone” approach, kids.

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It’s Official: Strikeforce is Just Making This Sh*t Up as It Goes


("I’m thinking of a number between 1-20. First person to guess it gets to be Strikeforce heavyweight grand prix champion. No shit, we’ll give you a belt and everything." PicProps: Canvas Chronicle)

So, in a nutshell? Strikeforce held a conference call yesterday where it contradicted many of the things it just told us last week about its proposed heavyweight grand prix tournament. No, the title won’t be on the line. No, the fights (excepting the final) won’t be five rounds. Instead, the winner will become the Strikeforce tournament champion and will get a shot at Alistair Overeem’s belt after the grand prix wraps up … some time in like 2015. Unless Overeem himself wins the tournament. In that case, aside from The Reem having another hunk of gold to add to his collection and Strikeforce having zero title contenders left, we have no idea what happens next. From the sound of it, neither does Strikeforce.

Some other oddities in the tournament “rules” revealed yesterday: In the unlikely event of a draw, the promotion will call upon a fourth judge to break the tie. That’s cool, because draws suck. It’s also shitty, because the “fourth judge” will reportedly be appointed by Strikeforce, not an athletic commission and therefore stands to be even less trustworthy than the blind simpletons who normally score MMA fights. Also, in the very likely event that someone can’t continue in the tournament due to injury (or some other reason) a five-person “tournament committee” comprised of Strikeforce officials will handpick a replacement. If you think this concept is obviously rife with major conflicts of interests, well, you’re right. Don’t worry though, it will all sound very official. Kind of like in the ’80s when “Jack Tunney” used to be the “president” of the WWF.

Anyway, after the jump, some meditations on how all the things we told you in the above two paragraphs could potentially make this tournament go all fubar. We have questions, people. Tons of questions.

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Scott Coker Explains Lopsided Nature of Strikeforce Tournament Bracket


(According to a clause in his new contract, Fedor gets to play with half the Batman Legos set now and the other half when he shows up for the semis. PicProps: Showtime)

There’s just something about brackets, man. The human male would probably tune in to a tiddlywinks tournament if it could be neatly arranged in the elegant efficiency of a single elimination bracket. Nothing else allows us to channel our inner fanboy or bring out the modern jackass in our personalities quite like it. Once a year, the mythical lure of the bracket even makes college basketball seem interesting; it’s that powerful. Now, draw up a bracket populated by 265-pound behemoths who are charged with beating the dogshit out of each other until only one is left standing? Well, let’s just say you’ve got our attention.

Suffice it to say that upon poring over the proposed pairings for the 2011 Strikeforce heavyweight grand prix this week, it didn’t take long for the keen bracketologists in the MMA community to notice that the left-hand side of that badboy seemed a bit, um, stacked, while the right side appeared to be Josh Barnett and three other dudes. With Fedor Emelianenko, Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva, Fabricio Werdum and Alistair Overeem all on the same side of the tournament draw, eyebrows were raised in a collective: WTF? Werdum said he thought it was meant to sell pay-per-views. Overeem said he thought it was weird, but wasn’t going to lose any sleep over it. Barnett hasn’t said shit yet, but we assume he’ll take it. Now, the speculation can (sort of) end as company CEO Scott Coker explains to MMA Fighting.com exactly why Strikeforce overstocked one side of the bracket with all its top talent. It turns out not even the promotion itself believed it could engineer the desired Overeem vs. Fedor final, so it fudged things a little bit.

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*UPDATED* Strikeforce Locks Fedor in For at Least a Few More Fights


("I am ecstatic about new contract. I have not stopped smiling all week.")

Strikeforce moved one step closer this week to ensuring that its heavyweight tournament doesn’t implode and that Fedor Emelianenko *could* eventually fight heavyweight champion Alistair Overeem.

According to a report by MMAFighting.com, "The Last Emperor" has signed a contract extension with the San Jose-based organization that will see the Russian fighter compete in the planned 2011 heavyweight tournament. Although terms of the agreement were not released, as per Strikeforce policy, the report indicates that sources close to the situation said that the deal is for four fights. The new deal will commence with a February 12 first round tournament bout with Antonio "Bigfoot" Silva in New Jersey.

The question is whether or not it’s too little too late for Strikeforce to put together the most anticipated tilt in its promotional history between Emelianenko and Overeem.

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