MMA Payout reports:
Strikeforce is planning an October show (rumored October 9th in the HP Pavilion in San Jose, CA) which would hold the first round of their MW Tournament. Highly touted Strikeforce prospect, Luke Rockhold (7-1), is looking to make his long awaited return to the cage in his hometown and could be a darkhorse to win the tournament.
This show could also host a rumored bout between Dan Henderson and Babalu Sobral, which would most likely be a headliner of the event. Strikeforce is also in talks with CBS to broadcast the event, and is hopeful that they could rebound nicely from their April CBS event which was marred by uninspiring ratings and the brawl at the end of the telecast.
October will be a huge month for Strikeforce's future, pulling all their big guns and hoping to make a permanent mark in the MMA landscape. The release of DVD set, a video game, and working for their return to CBS prime-time programming is all crucial in terms of their relevance in the MMA landscape, increasing brand awareness, and creating stars in their roster.
Is Strikeforce really considering headlining their return to CBS with Dan Henderson vs Renato "Babalu" Sobral in a non-title match? Has anyone run that past Showtime or CBS yet? But right now that might be the best bird in the hand Scott Coker's got.
Well talk Fedor Emelianenko, Fabricio Werdum, Bobby Lashley and Dave Batista in the full entry:
Fedor is strictly bird in the bush right now, per MMA Fighting:
"We have ongoing dialogue even as recent as last weekend, and it's an ongoing process," he said. "I feel we'll come to when Fedor fights and who Fedor fights ... we'll probably have that put together in the next couple weeks."
Emelianenko would be making his return after losing his first match in nearly 10 years. On June 26, he was defeated after tapping out to a triangle/armbar combination at the hands of Fabricio Werdum.
The Russian is 32-2 with one no contest overall. Though his camp has stated a preference for a rematch with Werdum, a heavyweight championship match with Alistair Overeem remains another possibility.
Meanwhile, the future of Strikeforce on CBS remains in flux. The organization's last show on the "Tiffany Network" was the Strikeforce: Nashville show in April that featured three title bouts. That event drew an average of around 3 million viewers, but ended in controversy after a post-fight brawl following the Jake Shields vs. Dan Henderson match.
"We have dialogue but there's nothing definite," Coker said.
Then there's the much discussed Bobby Lashley vs Dave Batista match, Coker's still teasing it, again per MMA Fighting:
Meanwhile, Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker today told MMA Fighting's Ariel Helwani during the MMA Hour that the company was still considering matching Lashley against former professional wrestling star Dave Batista, if and when the company finalizes a deal with him to make his MMA debut.
While that would seem to put Lashley's stated career goals at odds with Strikeforce's possible plans, Coker told MMA Fighting that everything will be re-evaluated in time.
"The thing with Batista, like I told Ariel, is that we don't have an agreement with him," he said. "It would be a fun fight to do. Bobby's made the crossover, he's at a serious MMA gym and he's taking his career seriously. Right now he's moving up, if he can climb to the top 10 or 15, if he can win a couple more he'll be right there."
"If you keep winning, you'll get your title shot," Coker added at another point. "If Bobby keeps winning, he'll get it. This will be a good test in two weeks."
I'm not feeling optimistic for Strikeforce right now.
[UPDATE] - And let's not forget Fabricio Werdum, the Fedor slayer, per MMA Junkie:
"The date is really to be determined because Fabricio is not going to fight until the beginning of next year, so he's going to be sidelined for the next five months," Coker said.
(Werdum manager Richard) Wilner said Werdum would be open to a rematch with Emelianenko or a fight with Strikeforce heavyweight champion Alistair Overeem, whom he defeated under the now-defunct PRIDE banner in May 2006.
But for the time being, the Brazilian fighter is taking it easy. He recently celebrated his 33rd birthday and has conducted several training seminars around the world, where he has no doubt shown countless hopefuls the submission hold he used to turn the MMA world on its head.