It’s taken longer than we’d have ideally liked, but the next Strikeforce On CBS event on April 17th is finally starting to take shape.
Though Fedor Emelianenko will not appear on the card, there will be three title fights on the line at the event.
The first of those will be the middleweight title fight between Dan Henderson and Jake Shields which will service as the main event of the evening.
Meanwhile Gegard Mousasi will defend his light-heavyweight title for the first time against Muhammed ‘King Mo’ Lawal, and controversial DREAM star Shinya Aoki will attempt to take the lightweight belt from the newly crowned Gilbert Melendez.
What we still don’t know is who will take the last slot on the card, or if there will be a fourth fight at all. It was originally rumored that CBS wanted Herschel Walker for the event in the hopes that his star power would generate interest from casual fans.
It appears however that Walker is not yet ready to get back in the cage, and CBS executive Kelly Kahl admitted on ‘The Fight Show With Mauro Ranallo’ today that it may be that the show will consist of just the three title fights.
This may also partly be due to the fact that three title fights equals the possibility of three five round fights, which could cause timing issues for the two hour live broadcast.
Along with the April 17th card, details also emerged yesterday on the promotion’s next card which is set to take place on May 15th.
It is believed that Alistair Overeem will make his long awaited return to Strikeforce against Brett Rogers, though it is reported he will not be defending his heavyweight title. Still this should make for a solid headline bout.
Also in the heavyweight division, new Strikeforce signing Andrei Arlovski will also make his debut, fighting opposite Antonio ‘Bigfoot’ Silva.
The big question that remains is, what’s happens to Fedor?
There had been talk of him also fighting on the May card against Fabricio Werdum. If that was the case then this would be an unusually stacked event for what is so far anticipated to be a Showtime broadcast.
Having said that, as we reported previously M-1 Global appear to be looking to re-negotiate Fedor’s deal with Strikeforce, and that is expected to keep him out of the May event.
If that’s the case then Fedor might be left on the shelf for quite some time. The hope now may be to keep him for a future CBS event, but the catch here is that there is no guarantee that a third live show on the network will come to pass.
Much will depend on the ratings for the April 17th show – and that’s why Fedor’s absence from the card will be a major cause for concern for both Strikeforce and CBS, and why they may well look to a ‘gimmick’ like Herschel Walker’s presence on the card, to redress the balance.
Strikeforce On CBS Card (April 17th):
- Dan Henderson Vs Jake Shields
- Gegard Mousasi Vs Muhammed ‘King Mo’ Lawal
- Gilbert Melendez Vs Shinya Aoki
Strikeforce May 15th Card:
- Alistair Overeem Vs Brett Rogers
- Andrei Arlovski Vs Antonio ‘Bigfoot’ Silva
Article updated to include information regarding the possibility of just three fights making the CBS card.