The second set of quarter-final bouts for the Strikeforce heavyweight GP take place in a couple of weeks time, but the promotion are already looking ahead as they map out when the next two rounds will take place.
Originally the intention was to have the full tournament take place in 2011, but Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker has now conceded that this is now unlikely to happen.
“We were originally going to have [the semifinals] in August, but we felt like it’s too close to the June fight,” Coker told reporters today on a conference call. “So it’ll be sometime in the early fall. And then the finals will be the beginning of next year. We had a conversation with the fight team and Showtime, and they were fine with it.”
Since the tournament began earlier in the year there’s been talk of this being a perfect opportunity to roll out Strikeforce’s first ever pay-per-view event, and Coker admits that is something they are actively looking at.
“[Doing the finals as a pay-per-view is] the dialogue – there’s definitely a good possibility. But it’s not been decided yet.”
Much could depend on who makes it to the final. At first there was the possibility of it being Fedor Emelianenko Vs Alistair Overeem, a fight that would undoubtedly be a big PPV draw, but due to Fedor dropping out at the quarter-final stages and the way the remaining tournament brackets have been laid out, there’s not too many blockbuster match-ups remaining.
Overeem Vs Josh Barnett is perhaps the final pairing that would most warrant the cost of a pay-per-view assuming they both impress in their upcoming bouts, whereas an Antonio Silva Vs Sergei Kharitanov fight may be harder to sell to the paying public.