After the enjoyable Strikeforce: LA mid-week event Scott Coker looked ahead to potential future match-ups for some of the winners and losers on the night.
KJ Noons was involved in an entertaining scrap with Conor Heun’s to kick off the main card on Showtime, and Coker is now looking to set-up a long awaited rematch between him and current 170lb champion Nick Diaz.
“That’s a fight that probably should happen.” Coker noted, pointing out that Noons was the last man to defeat Diaz back in November of 2007. “So, I’m sure that KJ would love to fight Nick, and Nick would love to fight KJ, so at some point they should probably get it on.”
Prior to the event Coker had also told reporter Ariel Helwani on The MMA Hour show that Diaz would be able to settle his difference with Jason ‘Mayhem’ Miller in the cage sometime, “in the next 8 months to a year.”
Despite both the victorious Renato ‘Babalu’ Sobral and current Strikeforce light-heavyweight champion ‘King Mo’ stating that they will not fight each other, Coker has not yet given up on the possibility of putting the fight together.
“Yeah, we’re definitely going to have that conversation,” he told the assembled media after the event before adding, “you know we’re going to have a couple of announcements to make in another week and, you know, we’ll roll it all out for you guys.”
Later Coker spoke with Sherdog’s Loretta Hunt and noted that Rafael ‘Feijao’ Cavalcante is also in the mix for a potential title shot against King Mo.
“Feijao’s a guy that, you know, we’d definitely have to have as a contender. I mean, the way he finished Antwain Britt a couple of months ago… so that’s definitely a possibility.”
It was clear from his tone that it’s not his No.1 choice for King Mo’s first title defense which is expected to take place in August, and he confirmed that by reiterating, “we still want to sit down and talk to Babalu.”
As Hunt then pointed out, Babalu received a nasty looking cut above his eye during the Lawler fight and may not be available in time for that event. That appeared to catch Coker off-guard who asked, “is it deep?” before rolling his eyes and adding, “oh boy!”
Moving on, prior to his fight Coker had stated that if Robbie Lawler won his fight with Babalu that he and Ronaldo ‘Jacare’ Souza would likely face each other to decide the next middleweight champion (assuming that Jake Shields does leave for the UFC).
Since Lawler didn’t win plans have changed and now a previously vaunted 8-man tournament to decide the next champion appears to be on the cards.
“We’re heading in that direction, quickly,” he said, adding that the tournament could begin within the next 2-3 months.
As for who could be in contention for the 185lb strap, Coker had several suggestions.
“Well I think that Dan Henderson’s a guy that’s going to be in that tournament. I think Robbie [Lawler], Jacare. I think it depends what happens with Scott [Smith] and Cung [Le] next week. I think that a lot of people have forgotten, kinda because he’s been off the radar here but [Kazuo] Misaki from Japan is someone we’ll probably invite to fight at 185, so we’re going to put together a great tournament and I’m looking forward to it.”