Now that “Strikeforce: Carano vs. Cyborg” is officially in the books, all the buzz surrounding the San Jose-based company revolves around a certain WAMMA heavyweight champion. CEO Scott Coker said this past weekend that Fedor Emelianenko’s first Strikeforce fight is “probably going to be in November.”
“We’ll have three ‘Challengers’ fights (this fall),” Coker said of their hectic quarter-four schedule. “We’ll have September, then we’re going to have October, then we’re going to have November. Then the big fights are going to be the Fedor fight, and then we’ll do one more before the end of the year.”
Word on the street was that former UFC heavyweight champ Ricco Rodriguez’ name was being thrown around as a potential warm-up fight for the Russian, however Coker was quick to shoot down that chatter as he emphatically stated, “It was never even talked about.”
That is certainly good news considering most MMA fans wouldn’t want to see that fight, particularly for the every-day follower that has been submerged in Fedor hoopla over the past month.
The crafty promoter quickly moved on to a few of names that will draw some interest from fight fanatics worldwide as Coker stated that either Brett Rogers, Fabricio Werdum or current Strikeforce heavyweight champion Alistair Overeem will probably roll out the Strikeforce welcome wagon for their largest free agent signing.
“I definitely think there’s two guys here that would be a quality opponent for Fedor,” Coker said of Rogers and Werdum. “I think Brett Rogers is one of the guys we have to take a serious look at, and Fabricio looked great [against Mike Kyle]. I think on any given day he could do his thing.”
Although Overeem is the champ, his hand is still on the mend from a bar fight that he was involved in earlier this year. Although he’s a sick mixed martial artist, most American fans don’t know who he is, however they are well aware of Rogers and his former status as a Sam’s Club tire repairman.
His rags-to-riches story will certainly touch a nerve with fight fans, especially in today’s rough economic climate. His perfect 10-0 record, with all the wins having ended in finishes capped off by his 22 second 1stRound knockout victory over former UFC heavyweight title holder Andrei Arlovski this past June, has him as the early fan-favorite to land the job.
It is believed that middleweights Jake Shields, Robbie Lawler and Cung Le might also be participating in the November card.
Keep in mind the UFC is planning on hosting UFC 105 and 106 that same month. Bring on the Holiday Season!