While most fans were wondering why a 195-pound catchweight bout would headline Strikeforce’s first show in Downtown LA, company CEO Scott Coker legitimized the main event during today’s conference call by announcing the victor would move on to challenge their respective division’s champion for his title.
“If ‘Babalu’ looks good and wins the fight, I think that he will be first in line for a matchup [with light heavyweight champ Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal],” Coker stated. “Robbie, if he wins the fight, he’ll be first in line to have a title shot at 185 pounds against [Ronaldo “Jacare” de Souza].
“Normally we don’t put those fights out there, but I wanted to let everybody know that this fight will have consequences. It’ll be an interesting show, and we’re looking forward to putting it on.”
Hold up, Jacare??? Why wouldn’t Lawler fight newly minted Strikeforce middleweight champion …
Oh yeah, there’s that whole “Jake Shields free agency” thing that still has to be ironed out.
“That’s still to be determined,” Coker said of the up-in-the-air state his middleweight division currently resides. “That hasn’t been mapped out 100 percent, but we’ll probably have an announcement in the next 10 days or so.
“This depends on how things shake out with Jake. If things continue the way they’re going, and we end up in the situation where we’re looking for a 185-pound champion, I think Jacare and Robbie, based in this performance, would be the No. 1 and No. 2 seeds in that slot.”
Despite recent statements, Shields did not ink a UFC contract on Monday, but said an announcement could be coming within a “couple of weeks.” That timeline appears to match up perfectly with Coker’s.
Babalu and Lawler will meet June 16th inside the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles, CA.