Don’t expect to see any Strikeforce champions besides Nick Diaz fighting in the UFC anytime soon.
According to Strikeforce president Scott Coker, Diaz’s crossover to the UFC was a one-off exception that was made to prevent the Stockton native from turning his back on MMA in favor of a boxing career.
Ladies and gentlemen, it is now an appropriate time to start geeking out about the next Strikeforce card — you know the one. Fedor-Hendo goes down at the end of the month and every MMA diehard will be sitting on the edge of their seats to see two PRIDE legends finally come together. Will The Last Emperor regain his classic form? Will Henderson score a victory that would likely be the highlight of his career? Will Fedor’s hilariously bad website gain something new and terribly translated?
(Seriously; the website is worth a look. Engrish motherfucker, do you speak it? An excerpt: “2003 ?. After competitions with Sam Shilt (Holland) and Hiz Hiring (USA), Fedor had a wrestling with Antonio Rodrigo Nagiera; Fedor gained the champion title. Later he gained the upper hand over Kazyuki Fudgita (Japan) and Gary Gudridg (Canada).”)
When Scott Coker first announced the matchup, he said it would be a catchweight bout at 220 pounds — possibly a gambit to get Fedor moving down in weight. Henderson contradicted Coker, saying that according to his contract the fight was at heavyweight, all the way up to 265, so Fedor can go ahead and eat all the ice cream and pickled elk or whatever it is that those Ruskies eat up there in Antarctica.
Continuing in Zuffa’s new social media trend of announcing newly-signed bouts before the MMA media gets wind of them, Strikeforce announced today via Twitter that a middleweight bout between Tim Kennedy and Robbie Lawler has been added to its July 30 Fedor vs. Henderson card in Chicago.
Damn, Heun’s getting all misty-eyed. VidProps: Strikeforce
Conor Heun and Magno Almeida were on the HDNet undercard card, and they turned in a three round scrap highlighted by some aggressive (and effective) ground work. Both fighters attempted subs early and often, including an omoplata attempt and a toe hold in the first round. Sure, a guillotine is nice, but we’ll take the exotic submissions every time.
Almeida lost a unanimous decision, but he at least left Heun with something to think about, as one of Almeida’s twenty seven arm bar attempts (disclaimer: no, we didn’t count them) left Heun with a serious lack of functionality in his right arm for the next month or so.
Heun got back into the win column after two losses in a row (to KJ Noons and Jorge Gurgel), so he’s understandably stoked about the win. On the other hand, his arm is seriously effed up, so there’s all kinds of emotions and hormones and stuff going on in Huen’s brain; give him a pass if he seems a little emotional in that video.
Yes, “all kinds of emotions and hormones and stuff” is technical language.
We’re going to try to do an almost daily “On This Day in MMA History” series starting with this appropriate first instalment that features one of the sports most popular and successful fighters, former Pride welterweight and middleweight and current Strikeforce light heavyweight champion Dan Henderson.
14 years ago today “Hendo” made his MMA debut in Brazil against Crezio de Souza in the opening round of the Brazil Open ’97 lightweight (176lbs and below) tournament. Henderson’s bracket of the one-day grand prix also featured Jose “Pele” Landi-Jons, while the heavyweight side featured Kevin Randleman and Tom Erickson.
It’s official. The world must be ending soon. How else can you explain the fact that we actually agree with something Gary Shaw said regarding MMA?
In this interview Shaw did with FightHubTV.com about Zuffa’s purchase of Strikeforce, Shaw detailed who the winners and losers are in the deal and his viewpoints were all valid ones.
“Great for the UFC [and the] Fertittas. Brilliant, brilliant move. For the fighters, terrible move because they don’t really have another place to go and bargain. So, if you ask me as a businessman, I think it’s brilliant on the part of the UFC, Shaw said. “I’m not even sure that when Strikeforce’s contract is up with Showtime, that they just don’t fold [the promotion] into the UFC at that point and just make it a pay-per-view. For the fans it’s bad, for the fighters it’s bad and for the UFC it’s terrific.”
The decorated Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt (who has not fought since defeating Robbie Lawler in January) has only fought three times in the past 365 days including his championship win over Tim Kennedy last August that saw him take home the vacant Strikeforce middleweight title relinquished by Jake Shields when he moved over to the UFC.
He tells Tatame that he just wants to fight and no matter who it’s against or where or when the bout takes place, he’d just be happy knowing there’s a fight for him on the horizon.
“I want to fight as soon as possible. I don’t fight for a long time and I’m upset about it. For one who works for fighting, not fighting for a long time, when you’re ready to go, is the worst thing that can happen. I had to stop for about a month or two, but I already was good to go, and didn’t know when I would fight again. I’m looking forwards to know when I’ll be fighting and then I’ll tell you guys. There’re many good athletes [for me to face]. Strikeforce is one of the greatest events on earth, so I’m cool with anyone they tell me to fight against. As a Strikeforce employee what I really want is to fight.”
This is a big fight for everyone involved. Following two consecutive stoppage losses to Fabricio Werdum and Antonio Silva, Fedor’s unbeatable mystique has been shattered. With Strikeforce’s top heavyweights competing in the Grand Prix Tournament from which he was exiled, this bout gives Fedor a shot at a meaningful win against a highly respected legend. After all the talk of his possible retirement from the sport, a victory here would prove that Fedor is still very relevant in the MMA landscape.