It's no secret that the world's USAT/SBN Consensus MMA Rankings' #1 heavyweight and his management team M-1 Global can be a handful to deal with. Yesterday we heard Fedor
might not would not be on Strikeforce's April CBS card. Then we heard that he might be fighting Alistair Overeem in Japan's DREAM won't fight Overeem unless Overeem passes a pre-fight drug test.
Now we're hearing that Fedor might not fight on either Strikeforce's April CBS card or its May Showtime card.
Fedor and his management team clearly believe they didn't get paid enough for Fedor's first CBS event for Strikeforce. They also have utter confidence that Fedor's value in the market place is rising. They're missing a huge bird in the hand payday -- and more importantly missing out on the incredible US market exposure that CBS can provide.
Then there's the question of how long will Fedor's fighting prime last? He coasted through his last couple of years in PRIDE fighting freak show fights like Zuluzinho and Hong Man Choi, a past his prime Mark Coleman, and an undersized Matt Lindland. In 2008 and 2009 he was unusually productive, fighting and dispatching two former UFC champs in Tim Sylvia and Andrei Arlovski and a fast-rising Brett Rogers. Now it appears as if he's going to be slowing his pace of fighting again.
Strikeforce is now forced to headline a CBS card with proven ratings disaster Jake Shields and a hot Dan Henderson who's coming off the most dramatic KO win of 2009. Henderson would be a solid headliner against a more compelling opponent, but even coming off his UFC 100 glory and coaching TUF, he's not enough to carry a network card. And if "Decision Dan" shows up instead of "Hollywood" Henderson, look out, we may see a headliner that loses viewers as it drags on for five rounds of lay and pray.
But not having Fedor to headline the card really hurts Strikeforce. That promotion is desperate for headliners with Gina Carano, Cung Le and Frank Shamrock all having been damaged by recent losses.
Fedor and M-1 may be killing their "promotional partner" by leaving them with no ratings draw for the April CBS card. They must be thinking that there will be another CBS card or equally well-paying opportunity.
Or maybe they're negotiating with someone else. And there's really only one other entity that can put together a bigger fight than DREAM in March, CBS in April or Showtime in May. And that's an entity that could offer a title fight on PPV in June or July against the biggest draw in the sport.
More Strikeforce in April on CBS Coverage