Coker Talks Carano and Kimbo

Written by Tom Ngo
March 14th, 2009

At yesterday’s Strikeforce press conference in Hollywood, California, company CEO Scott Coker said that they are still in negotiations with representatives for Kevin “Kimbo Slice” Ferguson and Gina Carano.

“Right now there is ongoing dialogue with Kimbo,” Coker said bout the backyard brawler. “We’ll see how that goes. I could probably answer that better in 14 days.”

Kimbo was last seen face planting on an EliteXC canvas after Seth Petruzelli cracked him upside his head at Heat last October. Although Kimbo still lacks the legit MMA skills to challenge the world’s best, Coker knows that he brings other things to the table.

“Kimbo is a very popular star in North America,” Coker said. “He’s very recognizable, and he did a good job packing the stadiums when he fought.”

Closing on Kimbo would be a nice, but signing Carano is clearly the priority as it has massive implications for the future of women’s MMA.

“With Gina, I think you can equate it to a hold out at camp, so to speak,” Coker said. “Camp’s started, the game’s on, and she’s the hold-out.”

Even though talks between the two sides have stalled, Coker believes that it is only a matter of time before they bring on the female face of MMA.

“These things happen in this business from time to time,” Coker said. “We’re in dialogue with Matt Walker, [Carano’s] agent. I think things are moving forward, and there is good dialogue. We’re hoping for the best.”

If Coker is able close Carano sooner rather than later, Strikeforce is hoping to add her to their upcoming event in May, which he announced yesterday would be headlined by Robbie Lawler and Jake Shields clashing at a catch-weight of 182 pounds.

“We’re going to invite Gina to fight (in May) if we can put it together,” Coker optimistically stated.

Kimbo and Carano were two of the 40 contracts that Strikeforce acquired from ProElite last month. Although most of fighters’ contracts transferred over directly, these two are requesting special accommodations due to their stature.

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