M-1 Global has officially confirmed that Strikeforce light heavyweight champion Gegard Mousasi will be defending his title at “Strikeforce: Fedor vs. Rogers” on November 7th. Although no opponent has been assigned, there was no way M-1 would have missed an opportunity to showcase their OTHER superstar on primetime television.
The announcement was made today on M-1global.com, with the website even tossing out two potential challengers. Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou, who dominated Bob Sapp in the semifinals of the Super Hulk Tournament at Dream.11 yesterday, and former WEC middleweight champion Paulo Filho were specifically mentioned as possible suitors.
A standup battle against Sokoudjou could be explosive, however the Team Quest-trained fighter hasn’t shown the consistency of late that would warrant a title match, especially on the heels of his dismissal from the UFC.
Filho (18-1), on the other hand, would be intriguing as it would mark the Brazilian’s first big fight since his humiliating display at WEC 36 where he came in overweight and out of shape for his “title” defense against Chael Sonnen in November 2008.
In addition, Filho recently begged for a chance to get at Mousasi, stating that, although the Iranian may boast an impressive 22-6-1 professional record, he hasn’t faced anyone on his physical level. In fact, Filho wants the fight so badly that he’s willing to give back his fight purse if he isn’t able to pull out the W.
“I wanna fight Mousasi and show that with against me is a whole different thing,” Filho told TATEME.com. “He doesn’t have my strength, he doesn’t have my level on the ground. He can be a better striker, but he doesn’t have my strength and he’ll go down once and be submitted … He’s well trained, but I don’t think he’s healthy enough to beat me. If he wins, I don’t even want my salary.”
Mousasi was last seen committing assault and robbery against Renato “Babalu” Sobral at “Strikeforce: Carano vs. Cyborg” in August where it took him all of 60 seconds to knockout Babalu in route to jacking his 205-pound title.
It was his 13th consecutive victory.
“Strikeforce: Emelianenko vs. Rogers” will be jumping off inside the Sears Centre in Hoffman Estates, Illinois. The show will mark the American primetime television debut of WAMMA heavyweight champ Fedor Emelianenko, and will be the first of a multi-event deal between Strikeforce and CBS.
Here are the other fighters rumored to be competing in the extravaganza:
Bobby Lashley vs. TBD
Fabricio Werdum vs. TBD
Gegard Mousasi (Strikeforce Light Heavyweight Champion) vs. TBD
Jason Miller vs. Jake Shields (Open Strikeforce Middleweight Title)
Brett Rogers vs. Fedor Emelianenko (WAMMA Heavyweight Champion)