Last week, the UFC signed free agent/former Strikeforce MW title contender Jason "Mayhem" Miller to a multifight contract. 0-1 in the UFC (don't be misled - that sole blemish came in a welterweight bout against Georges St Pierre), Mayhem is currently slated to face off against Aaron Simpson at UFC 132 on July 2nd.
While important, the Mayhem signing doesn't directly contravene Zuffa's official "business as usual" mantra when it comes to how its two MMA promotions operate. Miller was a free agent, his Strikeforce contract having expired at some point since his last official bout with the promotion on the infamous Nashville card. The brawl following Jake Shieldsdefeating Dan Henderson - precipitated by the inexplicable decision/incompetence that led to Mayhem being in the cage following that bout - effectively rendered a scheduled bout against Robbie Lawler impossible. Then, a groundswell of support rose for a potential bout against Nick Diaz, but despite a highly entertaining war of words and massive interest, the fight was never consummated.
While Mayhem took a one-off against Sakuraba in DREAM, Strikeforce seemed content to allow him to sit on the sidelines. Though a potential rematch with Tim Kennedy (Mayhem bested Kennedy via unanimous decision in 2007 after losing to him in 2003 - h/t to bigdmmafan at Bloody Elbow for pointing out their first bout) seemed appetizing, no deal was ever signed, with Tim curiously neglecting to mention Miller's name when griping about Strikeforce's inability to find him an opponent. I've written about Scott Coker's tenuous relationship with the truth before, and he is, as always, a muddying factor as opposed to a clarifying one. As recently as last week, Coker was claiming that Strikeforce was talking to Mayhem's people about a possible summer bout - without mentioning that Mayhem wasn't even under contract.
Our resident kickboxing savant Brent Ducharme (read him, even if you hate me) reported that Sergei Kharitonov will be participating in his second different combat sport since beating the ghost of Andrei Arlovski in the first round of Strikeforce's vaunted GP, which will supposedly wrap up in Texas in June. Fabricio Werdum has not fought since his triumphant submission of Fedor Emelianenko. Tim Kennedy and Jacare Souza both have one fight since their title scrap last August. Gilbert Melendez recently went 357 days between fights.
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