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. Strikeforce 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.”
Some MMA sites had reported that former UFC heavyweight champion Ricco Rodriguez’s name was being thrown around as a potential warm-up fight for the Russian heavyweight, however Coker was quick to shoot down that chatter as he emphatically stated, ”It was never even talked about.”
Coker 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.”
While Overeem is the champion, his hand is still on the mend from a bar fight that he was involved in earlier this year. While Overeem is one of the best heavyweights in the world, most caasual MMA fans don’t know who he is.
Despite Brett Rogers telling FightLine.com that he doesn’t think he will be Emelianenko’s first opponent, he has a perfect 10-0 record, with all of his wins having ended in finishes capped off by his 22 second first round destruction of former UFC heavyweight title champion 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.
It will be a busy November, as the UFC is planning on hosting UFC 105 and 106 that same month. Bring on the Holiday Season!