Photo by Esther Lin via AllElbows.com
That's what they think over at Head Kick Legend:
Of course the big stories were the Strikeforce debuts of Melvin Manhoef and DREAM Welterweight Champion Marius Zaromskis. Manhoef showed the world what a pro-kickboxer from K-1 is capable of, piecing together blistering combinations and destroying Robbie Lawler's leg with leg kicks. Lawler spent most of the fight covering up and hoping he wouldn't die against Manhoef before Manhoef got caught with a looping right hook that put him down and a left hand that put him out. Even in defeat, Melvin Manhoef made a giant impression on the American audience watching tonight and will no doubt be booked in Strikeforce again.
Zaromskis on the other hand was completely decimated by Nick Diaz. Zaromskis did at one point catch Diaz, but was unable to finish off the Stockton badboy and was actually KO'd by a hook from Diaz, who is not known for his punching power. Diaz, the renowned BJJ fighter won this fight on his feet against a man insiders were saying would upset Diaz if the fight was left standing.
In both cases here, the DREAM fighters looked like they should have been in a lower weight class. Of course in Japan weight-cutting isn't as extreme as it is in the United States and Melvin Manhoef has wins over legitimate top heavyweights.
Jake Rossen agrees:
In their starry-eyed optimism, Dream officials may have believed they were sending Zaromskis and Manhoef on bombing missions to the States. Instead, both men were wrecked by fighters belonging to Strikeforce. And if Zaromskis had happened to win the welterweight title, it could've been several months before he came back around to defend it.
Co-promotion is a noble idea, but what's good for fans isn't necessarily good for business. And if it's not good for business, that business might not last. If Strikeforce insists on these matches, the introduction of a separate world title might be in order.
I have to say, I just hope this doesn't mess up the Shinya Aoki vs Gilbert Melendez lightweight title fight.
Mike Chiappetta points out another issue with bringing Aoki over for an instant title shot:
...if Strikeforce is truly trying to engage the middle America sports fans who just tune in from time to time, Aoki, Sakurai and Toughill may not be the best choices. Why? Because none of them have ever competed on a Strikeforce show. Many fans have no clue who they are.
How, a fan might ask, is a first-time Strikeforce fighter already competing for a title? It's happened before, of course (Zaromskis was a first-time Strikeforce participant when he faced Diaz on Saturday), but it's hard for a casual fan to develop into a regular fan of a promotion when even the top-level fighters are constantly shuffled in and out.