Wednesday May 9th sees the return of Strikeforce to the HP Pavilion in its birthplace of San Jose, CA. Nothing has been made official other than the Heavyweight grand prix final pending Barnett’s licensing process going smoothly and Gilbert Melendez stating he was fighting on that card against and unknown opponent. So let’s take a look at a few possibilities for the May 19th main card.
Josh Barnett vs. Daniel Cormier (Heavyweight grand Prix Final)
This is the only bout pretty much set in stone as long as Barnett has no hiccups with his license before the fight. This will prove to be a great fight between a seasoned veteran in Barnett and a well rounded up and comer in Cormier.
Gilbert Melendez vs. TBA (Lightweight Championship)
The question at hand here is will Strikeforce put
Josh Thomson or Pat Healy in front of Melendez on May 19th? Thomson came out of his fight with KJ Noons unharmed so he would have roughly 9 weeks to get ready for the fight. On the other hand if such a quick turnaround or a training injury forces Thomson out of the fight Healy could ultimately step in. He did receive a 30 day no contact order from the Ohio State Athletic Commission but even if he serves the full 30 days he has exactly 6 weeks to get ready for the fight.
There are 3 other highly unlikely moves Strikeforce could make here which involve importing opponents for Melendez in order to make sure he has a fight that night. Although these are options for Melendez it’s more likely Strikeforce have him sit out the event.
Mizutoa Hirota He is the second highest ranked opponent they would be able to bring in that doesn’t have an exclusive contract with a promotion. The problem here is the casual fans would probably have no clue too who he is just like they did with Aoki and Kawajiri.
Jamie Varner This would be the most recognizable name they could bring in due to his time as the WEC lightweight champ and his worm dance victory celebration in the UFC. I know he has one fight left on his XFC contract but I’m not sure if it’s an exclusive contract.
Antonio McKee This would be the highest ranked contender they could bring in that isn’t locked up at the moment. This has the potential to be a very exciting fight forcing McKee to really work due to Gilbert’s wrestling or extremely boring due to McKee’s ability to counter Gil’s wrestling.
(UPDATE) So it looks like Josh Thomson is out as a opponent. VIA middleasy
This is a fight we’ve seen dissolve multiple times due to injuries. As long as Kyle can stay healthy I hope we can see this fight on May 19th.
Both women came out of their bouts last month uninjured if the fans are lucky Strikeforce can keep the momentum rolling and get this fight booked.
This is a fight were all expecting to happen at it’s the right choice with the current welterweight roster.
Like I said only one these bouts are rock solid or at least as close as it can be. But everything else written here is what would be possible or at least wanted from the fans. We’ll see what Strikeforce announces shortly…