The news that Strikeforce's main matchmaker Rich Chou was dismissed from the company has been out for a few days now, but a clearer picture of the situation emerged today. Along with Chou, Bob Cook has apparently been released as well, and the new matchmaker for Strikeforce will be former WEC matchmaker Sean Shelby. MMAWeekly has it:
Shelby was the lead matchmaker at the WEC when the organization merged with the UFC, where he was handling the matchmaking duties for the smaller weight classes alongside longtime UFC matchmaker Joe Silva.
Strikeforce had used a few different matchmakers over the years, but primarily Bob Cook and Rich Chou handled those duties.
It appears as of now that both have been let go by Zuffa and Shelby has stepped in to handle the job on a day-to-day basis.
Rich Chou has been in MMA for a while now, beginning a fighting career in 2002 but switching to the promotional side of things in 2004 with JD Penn and the Hawaiian promotion Rumble on the Rock. From there he moved on to EliteXC, and was eventually brought into Strikeforce by Scott Coker after EliteXC's collapse. Back before the purchase, Coker had seen Chou as a possible successor in ownership after Scott retired. Obviously the Zuffa purchase of Strikeforce changed all that.
Sean Shelby became the WEC matchmaker in later 2008 after previously working as a matchmaking assistant to Joe Silva in the UFC. He was brought in to replace Reed Harris and Scott Adams in the role after Joe Silva and Dana White decided that things needed to be shaken up due to numerous promotional mistakes that had been made. After the WEC merged into the UFC, Shelby and Silva worked together as matchmakers for the 135 and 145 divisions in the UFC.
Speaking of Mr. Coker, his new executive title under the Zuffa banner was revealed today. Cage Potato got a look at the agenda for the UFC Fighter Summit that's going on this week, and there it is - "Strikeforce Executive VP & General Manager". Takes up a little more space on a business card than "owner".
Business as usual? It appears not.