While M-1 Global (and Strikeforce and Showtime and CBS) brass were quietly – if not blatantly – cringing over the fall of Fedor Emelianenko on Saturday night, the silver lining in this dark cloud is the fact Strikeforce’s heavyweight division just got at least one fighter deeper.
“I’m just excited about our heavyweight division now,” an optimistic Coker told MMAJunkie.com. “How many great heavyweight fights do we have on the table?
“When I think about the heavyweight division now for Strikeforce … with the loss of Fedor and the victory of Fabricio Werdum – with (Sergei) Kharitonov coming into the mix, with Alistair coming in as our champion – I think Strikeforce has some great heavyweight fights that we can look forward to putting on Showtime and CBS.”
Showtime and CBS? What about the hotly rumored pay-per-view debut everyone keeps yapping about?
“[Werdum vs. Emelianenko II] should be a pay-per-view fight. It’s a fight fans are going to want to see. He dethroned the king. I also think that Fabricio vs. Alistair, the rematch against our champion, is something Alistair is going to want and would be another big fight,” Coker said while remaining non-committal on Fedor’s immediate dance card.
“I think that the fight between Fedor and Alistair should still happen, as well. A lot of it is going to depend on what M-1 wants to do. They will have some say.”
Don’t forget that M-1 Global, the company that’s managed Fedor for numerous years, was the same squad that demanded to “tweak” their original three-fight deal with Strikeforce just one bout in. The contract wasn’t a year old and talks stalled for months, so expect the Russians will get more than their fair share of mic time.
“We have another fight with them, and we’re going to honor our deal,” Coker said of his impending free agent. “I think what happens with that fight will determine how we work together in the future.”