It’s fair to say that things aren’t going according to plan for Strikeforce at the moment.
As we wrote in an article earlier they have had to contend with a remarkable string of defeats for a number of their major stars over the past six months, and to make matters worse it now seems the middleweight tournament they had touted recently which had been generating considerably interest may now be dead in the water.
When Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker first floated the idea of the tournament earlier in the year the names he was suggesting would be competing in it, such as Dan Henderson, Nick Diaz, Jacare, Cung Le and ‘Mayhem’ Miller suggested that it could be one of the most anticipated events of 2010.
The initial excitement has since dampened though as a number of the marquee name fighters like Henderson and Le began to rule themselves out, and so last night’s Jacare Vs Tim Kennedy fight was put together in the mean time. Still even as recently as the last couple of weeks the word from within Strikeforce was that they were going to proceed with the tournament beginning in October, albeit with a revised list of participants.
Unfortunately during last night’s Strikeforce: Houston post-fight press conference it started to become clear that the tournament is now far from certain.
“I’m hearing that the middleweight tournament might not be happening,” Sherdog reporter Loretta Hunt stated while in conversation with Coker after the fights. “Your still looking for a No.1 contender, but it might be individual bouts now.”
Coker shifted uncomfortably on his feet, and though he failed to give a definitive answer, reading between the lines it appears that this rumor is indeed true.
“Like I said earlier, all the stars have to align for us to do it,” he replied with a sheepish smile that suggested the cat was now out the bag. “But, you know what, we have a great 185lb weight class and we look forward to having them all fight each other at some point. On October 9th, we’ve announced Luke Rockhold Vs Matt Lindland, and we’ll probably make another announcement next week sometime.”
If true this will prove to be another embarrassing PR gaffe on Strikeforce’s part, raising fans expectations and then failing to deliver. Coker is right that there are good match-ups to be made at 185lbs, but I still feel they’ve dropped the ball by failing to put together what could have been one of the highlights on this year’s MMA calender.