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Tag: Strikeforce

Strikeforce Signs Rhadi Ferguson for January 7th Debut

Rhadi Ferguson judo
(It’s the kind of moment that makes you wish competitive judo used the same commentator as NBA Jam. Photoprops: AlumniRoundup.com)

Rhadi Ferguson — four-time Judo national champion, 2004 Olympic Judo competitor, BJJ black belt, American Top Team strength-and-conditioning coach, Doctor of education, and cousin of Kimbo Slice — is about to make his televised MMA debut. After picking up two first-round TKO victories this year in southern regional leagues, Ferguson has been signed to the Strikeforce light-heavyweight roster, and will make his first appearance on the main card of Strikeforce Challengers: Woodley vs. Saffiedine, January 7th in Nashville. His opponent will be 1-0 Canadian rookie Ion Cherdivara, whose list of credentials isn’t nearly as long as Dr. Rhadi’s.

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Strikeforce Looking to Stretch Out Anticipated Heavyweight Match-Ups in a Grand Prix That Could Blow Up in Its Face


(Surprise, Strikeforce may be making a mistake with matchmaking.)

I never thought I’d ever speak out against a grand prix tournament, but because the proposed Strikeforce heavyweight tournament has so many question marks surrounding it, I’m almost hoping it doesn’t happen.

When Scott Coker mentioned earlier this year that Strikeforce was either going to piss or get off the pot when teasing its fans with heavyweight fights that never seem to come to fruition because of those crazy Russians for whatever reason, I thought he meant it.

What Sco-Co should have said was, "We’ll likely milk the current roster for whatever we can and if we can make the fights fans want to see, then we will, but we likely won’t."

According to Tatame, the California-based promotion is planning on stretching the tournament over three events and will likely anchor Strikeforce’s foray into pay-per-view TV — a move necessitated by the fact that it’s unlikely that CBS will be having them back on network TV in 2011 and the costs of greasing the pockets of M-1 Global for each Fedor-featured event are likely more than most Russians make in their lives.

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No Fedor at January Strikeforce Show, M-1 Killjoys Say


(Uh-oh, I think we’ve got a workout video on our hands. Somebody get Jay Glazer on the horn, STAT. PicProps: Connect.in)

If you looked at yesterday’s reports that a bout between Fedor Emelianenko and Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva was being considered for Strikeforce’s Jan. 29 show and thought to yourself, “Self, that seems awfully soon. Almost too soon,” well, you were right. We hate it when you’re right. Anyway, it turns out the aforementioned January date is “not on the table” for Fedor’s next yawn-worthy matchup in the Strikeforce cage, M-1 Global spokeshipster Evgeni Kogan said on Friday. As reported by MMA Junkie, Kogan wouldn’t elaborate further on the matter except to say that everybody involved has “been steadily working toward an agreement.”

The Junkie also notes that a couple months back M-1 boss Vadim Finkelstein said the rent-a-Fedor outfit was “negotiating primarily with Showtime to secure Emelianenko’s return.” Not to read too much into that, but it pretty much makes it sound like Strikeforce itself is the least important party in these talks. It also indicates that maybe Kogan wasn’t just blowing smoke recently when he said M-1 was trying leverage its own live fight events onto Showtime. If they can pull that off, well, I wonder if they could also speak to my mortgage lender.

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Fedor vs. Bigfoot Reported for January Strikeforce Meeting, Overeem vs. Lashley Rumored for Dynamite!!

Fedor Emelianenko MMA wallpaper moon clouds
(Oh yeah. The person who made this wallpaper just *gets it*.)

After months of negotiations between Strikeforce and Fedor Emelianenko‘s useless management company, the Last Emperor may finally have a return date. According to MMA Weekly, Emelianenko will face fellow heavyweight contender Antonio Silva at a yet-unannounced January 29th Strikeforce event. It will be Emelianenko’s first fight since his shocking submission loss to Fabricio Werdum in June. Silva also dropped a fight to Werdum last November, but has posted wins over Andrei Arlovski and Mike Kyle since then. Emelianeko is already 1-0 against fighters with acromegaly.

The January 29th event is expected to take place at the HP Pavilion in San Jose, and will allegedly feature the return of Herschel Walker, and — get this — the third meeting between Jason Miller and Tim Kennedy, now that the trash talk between Miller and Nick Diaz has officially reached a stalemate, with neither fighter willing to leave their weight class.

But enough about non-freak-show fights. Let’s get to the good stuff…

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Tim Kennedy Can’t Get Anyone to Fight Him So He May Have to Go to Japan Where Homies Aren’t Scared


(Hopefully somebody Rangers Up soon.)

According to a report from FiveOuncesofPain.com, Strikeforce middleweight contender Tim Kennedy is having a hell of a time finding an opponent for his next fight.

The 12-3 retired Army Ranger who last fought and lost by decision to Ronaldo "Jacare" Souza for the Strikeforce middleweight strap four months ago was offered two opponents for last weekend’s Strikeforce: Henderson vs. Babalu event, but both declined the fight, leaving Kennedy in the lurch.

“I said yes to two different names for the December 4th card but both guys turned down the fight,” Kennedy explained. Though the humble 31-year old did not reveal names, he did explain he’s being proactive about the situation – a quality [that] likely serv[ed] him well throughout his decorated military career.
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‘TUF 12′ & Strikeforce Aftermath: Decisions are Fine, But We’ll Take the KOs, Thanks


(Propers:
YouTube/ShoSports)

If you insist on framing Saturday night’s dueling MMA action as a head-to-head matchup between Strikeforce and the UFC – and we do, since we’re media types, meaning we can always be counted on to find the easiest storyline and absolutely beat it to death – then you have to consider it a victory for Scott Coker and Co. Strikeforce came into the evening with the better card on paper and on this night the chalk held up. By virtue of back-to-back-to-back-to-back knockouts (if you count Antonio Silva’s TKO over Mike Kyle, which we do), last night Strikeforce was the metaphorical broken clock that turns up right twice a day, the dog’s ass that finally catches some sun. Meanwhile, every live fight on the UFC’s broadcast of the “Ultimate Fighter” season 12 finale went the distance. Both shows were decent, but after months of incessant bitching we should know by now that MMA fans will take a night full of stoppages over a night of scorecard verdicts every time.

During any given week on this website we give Strikeforce an unending raft of shit on the basis of its general incompetence, so it only seems fair to hand out some props on the rare occasion when the company doesn’t screw up in any obvious way. Good job, Strikeforce. We’d love to sit here and tell you last night’s show was indicative of the promotion “figuring it out” somehow, but frankly it seems like it just got lucky with a bunch of dynamic knockouts. Still, the fact this show went off as well as it did after the original fight card got scrambled by late injuries is sort of remarkable. Now it just remains to be seen how many people actually watched it.

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Pre-Strikeforce: Henderson vs. Babalu Video Hype


(Video courtesy YouTube/shosports)

Despite the fact that its card is better from top to bottom than the competition’s on Saturday night, Strikeforce’s  Henderson vs. Babalu broadcast on Showtime will likely top off at less than half as many viewers as The Ultimate Fighter 12 Finale show on Spike TV.

In an effort to win over a few sets of eyeballs who are indifferent in preference between the two cards, Showtime has released some highlight videos this week featuring main card fighters, Renato "Babalu" Sobral, Dan Henderson and Scott Smith.

Now, I only took two marketing courses in college, but wouldn’t it have been wiser to have released these videos a few weeks ago and to have more than three fighters featured in them?

Regardless of Strikeforce’s head-scratching business decisions, the shorts are pretty well done. 

Check out Scott Smith’s highlight and the original Babalu-Henderson bout after the jump.

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Fedor Says He Will Likely Re-Sign with Strikeforce and That He Has Feelings, Too


("In Stary Oskol, these ARE weights.")

Fedor Emelianenko did a rare fan Q&A session this week on a Russian website championat.ru where he opened up about a lot of interesting topics, including his thoughts on Cain Velasquez, the prospect of universal champions and whether or not he is considering signing with the UFC over Strikeforce.

I apologize for the somewhat shoddy translation in advance. I was pressed for time since the interview was three pages long, and Fedor likes to talk in Russian slang, but the overall messages are there.

Check out the translation after the jump:

Here are Fedor’s thoughts:

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Exclusive: Fabricio Werdum Says He’s Likely to Fight Alistair Overeem in March


Werdum talks Ubereem – Watch more Funny Videos

After a hard workout at Rafael Cordeiro’s Kings MMA gym in Huntington Beach, Strikeforce heavyweight contender Fabricio Werdum sat down with CagePotato West Coast correspondent Ruben Vera to discuss his health and Strikeforce return. If all goes according to plan, Werdum says he’ll be back in March, fighting Alistair Overeem for the heavyweight title. Werdum and Overeem met once before at Pride Total Elimination Absolute in May 2006, with Werdum winning by second-round kimura. At the time, Werdum says he had zero standup training to speak of. Now, he’s a more complete fighter, and is certain that he’ll finish Overeem in the first round of their rematch. "Overeem is my son, there’s no problem" Werdum says with a laugh.

Other notes: His elbow is in good shape, and he’s currently going through physical therapy following his recent surgery. He doesn’t consider himself the world’s #1 heavyweight after upsetting Fedor Emelianenko in June — he still thinks Fedor is #1, though Cain Velasquez is right up there. As for Saturday’s fights, Werdum predicts that his training partner Babalu Sobral will defeat Dan Henderson in the main event, and tells us to keep an eye on the undercard fighter Fernando Bettega.

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Exclusive: Babalu Talks Boring Fighters, Why He Became a Fighter and Whether or Not He Thinks About Going Back to the UFC


("Does Jake Shields have a watch like this? That’s what I thought.")

Three years ago, Renato Sobral made a rash decision that would change his career and his life.

Following a submission victory over David Heath at UFC 74, Sobral refused to relinquish the fight-ending anaconda choke despite commands by referee Steve Mazzagatti to let go and he put "The Headhunter" to sleep.

He was subsequently released by the UFC and was fined half of his $50,000 purse by the Nevada State Athletic Commission for the infraction, but the biggest hit he took was to his reputation. 

Sobral was a fan favorite in the UFC, but the backlash he received for that split-second decision followed him and he says he is cognizant of the effect his mistake had on his fan following and he says he has worked to rebuild his reputation.

Sometimes fans forget that fighters, like us, are human and that they sometimes have a bad night, a lapse in judgment or personal issues. They tend to look at athletes as larger than life beings, akin to superheroes who don’t have to deal with the everyday issues that plague mortals like us.

Karo Parisyan shattered that facade recently and proved that no matter how pissed off Dana White may be at a fighter, the door is never closed to a possible return to the Octagon.

We recently sat down with the former Strikeforce light heavyweight champion ahead of his December 4 bout with Dan Henderson and we broached a number of subjects including whether he thinks about going back to the UFC, what his family thought of him becoming a fighter and the trend of round winners in MMA.

Check out what Babalu had to say after the jump.

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