We’re not seening too much of Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker these days since Zuffa bought the promotion, but he did make an appearance yesterday to speak with MMAfighting’s Ariel Helwani and we’ve got the video and the keynotes from their conversation for you below.
– Asked whether tomorrow night’s fight between Fedor and Henderson is the biggest bout he’s put on during Strikeforce’s tenure on Showtime, Coker believes it’s up there, but points to 2009’s Gina Carano Vs ‘Cyborg’ Santos as being bigger due to the amount of interest and media coverage it garnered.
– Coker believes this is a pivotal moment in Fedor’s career, though he isn’t willing to talk about the Russian’s contract status and what might happen next should he win or lose. He also adds that Fedor is in great shape, and from what he’s been told he’s hungry to get back to winning ways.
– What we do know is that Henderson is in the last fight of his current contract and Coker stresses that they are keen to keep him on, noting that due to the fact he can fight anywhere between middleweight and heavyweight means that there’s plenty of fights to keep him busy here in the future.
– According to Coker it was Henderson who originally asked for the fight, and it only took a couple of days for it to be put together after that.
– Coker says there’ll be historical significance to tomorrow’s show due to the fact that Marloes Coenen Vs Meisha Tate will be the first woman’s title fight under the Zuffa banner.
– Though he admits there is internal dialogue at Zuffa HQ about how to crown the 170lb division’s next champion after Nick Diaz vacated the belt, he declines to answer whether the winner of Daley Vs Woodley will get that shot or whether a tournament could be put together instead.
– Coker states that if they could have changed the date of the semi-finals of the Strikeforce heavyweight GP to accomodate Alistair Overeem then they would have done so, but it simply wasn’t possible. When asked whether Overeem will fight for Strikeforce again Coker says they’ll have to sit down with the fighters management.
– Coker’s take on the way the heavyweight GP has panned out is that this is not pro-wrestling so anything can happen. Despite the fact that big stars like Overeem and Fedor are now out he points out that the format allows for new stars to rise to prominence instead.
– On Gina Carano’s expected return Coker says that she could be back in training within 10 days and he hopes she’ll fight before the end of the year.
– Being a former K-1 employee Coker has reacted positively to the news that the organization is now under new management and hopes that what he describes as “the greatest stand-up fight league in the world” will now have a more solid future.