On January 27th, Josh Gross reported that Scott Coker had confirmed April 9th as the date for the second leg of the Strikeforce World Heavyweight Grand Prix tournament. With just over seven weeks until the confirmed date, Strikeforce has yet to announce a location or venue, and now it sounds like the date itself isn't as concrete as we were led to believe. Loretta Hunt provides an update from the L.A. Times' sports blog:
Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker has given himself one more week to secure a venue in Japan for a planned April event.
Coker announced two weeks ago that the San Jose-based promotion was aiming to hold its April 9 show in the country that has hosted the most attended MMA events in the sport's history. However, the promotion's venue of choice - the 35,000-seat Saitama Super Arena in Tokyo - is unavailable on April 9 and its surrounding dates.
Coker said the event date could also be pushed back a week or two to cement other necessary details.
By contrast, the UFC has confirmed dates and venues all the way up to UFC 130 on May 28th, and a likely host venue three months later for their fifth show on Versus.
Hunt also notes that Georgia, Missouri, Oklahoma, and Texas are the states being looked at should Strikeforce ultimately decide to run the show in the States.
Presently, the company would be unable to hold the event in their home state of California given Josh Barnett's licensing issues with the local athletic commission. Specifically, Barnett has displayed a flippant attitude in regards to acquiring a license, showing up to a December hearing without legal counsel and skipping the February 4th hearing that the commission granted as a continuance. The issue with California stems from Barnett's positive test a month prior to Affliction's cancelled show in June of 2009.
It should be noted that Texas sanctioned Antonio Margarito for his fight with Manny Pacquiao after California denied him a license in August of last year.