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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 heavyweight grand prix. – 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.

After his public shaming in front of the California State Athletic Commission in December, Barnett recently withdrew his application to be relicensed in the Golden State altogether. That was actually probably a smart move, since it deprives the CSAC the opportunity to scold him anymore at its February meeting. Since he’s no longer on Cali’s agenda at all, it also means other states could potentially license him without worrying about stepping on the CSAC’s toes. Pretty slick, right? Still, you also have to wonder what it all means for any kind of long-term(ish) commitment Strikeforce might want to make to Barnett. Seems like kind of a drag if it has to keep finding hole-in-the-wall venues that will let him fight, even if they are places where he feels more comfortable.

The potential move to Japan additionally means Strikeforce could be getting in bed with even more shady promotional partners. Let’s not forget that Real Entertainment was founded by a group of former Pride execs suspected of having ties to certain fraternal organizations in that country. And we don’t mean the Elks Club. So, go ahead and toss Real on the list with M-1 Global and Showtime as "partners" who could potentially make Scott Coker’s life a living hell.

Granted, it’d be cool to see Strikeforce pull this off. With draws like Barnett and Overeem on the card maybe they could fill a decent-sized arena and do sort of a throwback show with over-the-top production values and all that. But seriously, at what cost? What if, as we expect, Barnett and Overeem both advance to the semifinals? Then where do you go? Seems like a lot of trouble just to even get these guys in the cage. 

Cagepotato Comments

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Daley- February 5, 2011 at 12:05 pm
For fuck sake CP. Once again you have re-hashed the only article you guys seem to post nowadays.
Blind hatred towards StrikeForce with some paranoid-obsessive comments relating to steroid abuse. Well that was fresh and original...
Spartacus81- February 4, 2011 at 2:05 pm
The Baby-FAT assassin is a joke who has not fought a ranked opponent since he lost to NOG in 2006. Even having his fat ugly ass in the tournament is a disgrace. Now they have to move the event to Japan so their steroid abusing fighters don't have to be tested.Ha Ha Barnett is about to sink another organization.Then we will be stuck with only the U.F.C. to try and hype up their cheese ball cards so we will fork over our hard earned cash to watch another night chalk full of boring decisions fought by guys trying to win fights by scoring points and winning rounds instead of finishing their opposition. Congrats to the UFC for putting together 126 the first card since ufc 100 that actually looks good enough on paper to buy.
Now who the fuck cares to see Josh Barnett's fat ass jiggling around in nut huggers with his belly, love handles, and yes even his milky white pimple infested back fat flopping all over trying to slap a toehold on anybody anyway?
DARKHORSE06- February 4, 2011 at 1:32 pm
Im sure Im going to get hammered for the fuck do you guys know who writes these articles? Where is the author's tag?

On a related topic - great article and I agree 100%, StrikeForce is flushing their remaining credibility down the fucking toilet with all this nonsense.
Sudos KFC- February 4, 2011 at 12:51 pm
^they look a hell of alot bigger when you actually have to fight them too...
KidDinomite- February 4, 2011 at 11:47 am
I actually thought I saw Karo at a Barnes & Noble over in Woodland Hills the other day. Homeboy was having a fit cuz his check was taking a long time or something and made a small scene in the bookstore.

I was looking at him thinking he's pocket sized and wondering how someone so small could win fights in the UFC. Seriously, the 170 division guys look a HELL of a lot bigger on TV.
knucklesamitch- February 4, 2011 at 11:21 am
Next thing you know the finals will be held in NYC under modified rules. They'll skirt drug testing and anti-mma laws.
knucklesamitch- February 4, 2011 at 11:19 am
At least Overeem has actually passed a drug test somewhat recently. Barnett refuses to own up to the fact that he's failed multiple tests...This is so stupid.
NinjaVanish- February 4, 2011 at 11:13 am
Yeah, let's go to Japan so one of MMA's biggest disgraces dosent have to worry about following the rules in regards to drug testing.

I bet Overeem just breathed a huge sigh of relief.
cecils_pupils- February 4, 2011 at 11:13 am
In other news, Megan Olivi is the hottest thing in MMA journalism.
The... Hottest!
Sudos KFC- February 4, 2011 at 11:11 am
Wow thats retarded. Lets put it in Japan so Josh "I don't fight without Roids" Barnett can participate. From the same guy (coker) who paid a bunch of lip service about respecting the spirit of diaz's suspension...thats pretty retarded.

Not as retarded as risking blowing up your whole tourney just for one guy...what happens if he wins? Will the next round be in Japan? What if he wins that round? Is strikeforce going to move their tourney from the lucrative media fields of the US to the desert of Japan just for the privilige of crowining barnett champ?
Sniffer-Piffits- February 4, 2011 at 10:58 am
CORRECTION: Meant should be held, not were held....
budsellers- February 4, 2011 at 10:55 am
i wonder if they could have the semis in brazil before ufc: rio
Sniffer-Piffits- February 4, 2011 at 10:55 am
@ El Guapo
Genius! Although I wish the finals were held on Karo Parysian's evebrow. Have you seen that thing? It has an average attendance of 17,438. Amazing!
El Guapo- February 4, 2011 at 10:43 am
First round in Japan, semis on a floating barge off the coast of Narnia, finals on the moon. That'll show the UFC..

JMCS88- February 4, 2011 at 10:40 am
Does this mean no drug test for Josh?
Fedor Penn- February 4, 2011 at 10:40 am
They can get have awesome fights in Japan fueled by steroid rage and not have to worry about BS drug testing.