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Switcheroo Alert: Kennedy to Fight Rockhold; ‘Mayhem’ Without Opponent for March


("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?

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Coker Keeps Talking Diaz-Mayhem, But Still May Not Fully Grasp his Role as Strikeforce CEO


("Diaz vs. Miller? I’d love to, but I think I’m busy that weekend." PicProps: MMA Convert)

Even after last week’s revelation that it would take “a couple fucking million dollars” to get Nick Diaz to meet Jason “Mayhem” Miller at a catchweight, Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker says he’s still interested in making that fight … just not so interested that he’d actually take an active role in trying to book it. According to a story out on MMA Weekly this weekend, Coker says he didn’t even call Diaz manager Cesar Gracie during the recent period of negotiation when the fight almost happened, then didn’t.

“Sometimes I’ll call Cesar, but on that occasion I didn’t call Cesar and I let my guys handle it, and it was really close,” Coker said. “I thought it was going to happen, but at the last minute it fell apart. I know weight was definitely one of the issues. The weight they say, ‘Oh it’s only two pounds, three pounds,’ but you know what? When you’re two or three percent body fat, five percent body fat, there’s just not a lot to lose and we just couldn’t bridge the gap. In the future, I’d still like to put that fight together because I think they have some unfinished business with that match-up.”

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Tim Kennedy is Not Afraid to Name Names of All Y’all Who are Ducking Him


(This is, like, the only bag in the gym that would agree to be kicked by Tim Kennedy. PicProps: MilitaryTimes.com)

About a month ago we brought you news that bonafide badass Tim Kennedy was having a tough time finding an opponent in Strikeforce’s 185-pound division. Well, as of this writing Kennedy has been out of action nearly five months and with nothing yet scheduled he apparently got so fed up with waiting that this week he decided to say "fuck it" and start naming names. Dig this interview with MMAFA.tv, where Kennedy alleges that nearly every middleweight in Strikeforce has said “thanks, but no thanks” to a meeting in the cage with him during the last few months.

“It’s absolutely atrocious,” Kennedy says. “Strikeforce approached me for the December and January card. I said, ‘Definitely, just give me a name and I’ll take the fight.’ Benji Radach was the name, I said yes. Then they tell me he doesn’t want to fight me. Joey Villasenor was another name, but I understand him saying no because we trained at Jackson’s (team) together. Matt Lindland was another guy who said no. Robbie Lawler has turned me down three or maybe four times. They asked Melvin Manhoef to fight me and he said ‘(expletive) no.’ ”

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Just When We Thought We Were Out, ‘Mayhem’ Miller Pulls Us Back In


(VidProps: YouTube/DSSFight)

Gotta admit, this Jason “Mayhem” Miller is one crafty guy. Practically as soon as we hit “save” on our rant about how we’re sick and tired of all this Miller-vs.-Diaz nonsense, the guy releases the above video brilliance and – boom – we’re suckered right back in again. The Scrap Pack thought they were being clever with their little internet statement that made it look like it was Miller that wouldn’t fight Nick Diaz? Mayhem laughs in the face of your flawed rhetorical strategy, Cesar Gracie.

Count on the "Bully Beatdown" host to take tihings to the next level. Dude goes all political-smear campaign on us here and the results are pretty effective. Dig the subtle inclusion of Jared Shaw at the 19-second mark, among the montage of “wannabe gangsters.” That’s attention to detail, people. As for the footage of Diaz’s admission that he “can make 185” and wants “someone to offer me a fight” at the 23 second mark? Well, that’s just good shit. Your move, 209.

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Dream 16 Aftermath: If You Really Need to See Proof That Kazushi Sakuraba Shouldn’t Be Fighting, Here It Is …


(Fight starts at 4:15, though all the good stuff is before that.  Vids Props: YouTube/ZombieProphet420)

Leading up to his fight with Kazushi Sakuraba at Dream 16, Jason “Mayhem” Miller said he wanted to be the first person to submit the Japanese legend since Kimo did it during a possibly worked fight back in 1996. Well, Miller gets his wish here, though at this point beating Sakuraba seems to be the same level of accomplishment as going to the grocery store and coming back with everything on your list. The only way it’s not going to happen is if something goes horribly wrong.

We’re told that Saku’s entrance video before this bout is an homage to a popular cartoon in Japan. Don’t know about all that. In the states, we just call that shit creepy. The whole scene – complete with fellow old-school fighting phenom Tsuyoshi Kohsaka on the “drums” – is almost bizarre enough to distract from the sad reality of what’s become of Sakuraba as he continues to fight well into his golden years. Almost, but not quite.

As a little pick-me-up, after the jump watch Chase Beebe get knocked out by Hiroyuki Takaya.

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If You Don’t Mind, ‘Mayhem’ Miller Has Some Opinions About Nick Diaz He’d Like to Shout at You


(You taking notes, Tapout? Now *that’s* how you make an MMA T-shirt. VidProps: YouTube/Helwani)

At this point, it would basically constitute an act of grievous, unforgivable promotional negligence if Strikeforce fails to put Jason “Mayhem” Miller in the cage with Nick Diaz this October. When two of your most popular and similarly-sized fighters have a real life beef that comes preloaded with hype from a giant, in-ring brawl your company already aired on national television, it doesn’t exactly take P.T. Fuckin’ Barnum to figure out what to do. Unfortunately, since grievous, unforgivable promotional negligence is what Strikeforce does best these days, this fight will probably never happen.

And you know who’s going to be really pissed about that? I mean, besides us? Mayhem Miller, that’s who. As evidenced by the above video with Ariel Helwani the very topic of Diaz makes Miller totally incapable of using his “inside voice.”

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Babalu Ready to Get Off the Bench


(Props: MMA Fighting.)

It’s been nine months since Renato “Babalu” Sobral lost the Strikeforce light heavyweight title via short-and-sweet first round TKO to Gegard Mousasi last August. If you think that sounds like a lot of time to sit at home ruminating on the defeat, you’re right. Babalu is understandably pumped at the opportunity to step in for training partner Jason “Mayhem” Miller against Robbie Lawler next month and expresses some frustration to Ariel Helwani in the above video that it’s taken so long to get back in the cage.

Also interesting to note, Babalu seems to direct his annoyance at Showtime, not Strikeforce itself, so that should further stoke debate about who’s really wearing the pants in the fight company’s relationship with the premium cable channel. An excerpt from the interview after the jump.

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