Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker has a mess on his hands when it comes to Strikeforce’s heavyweight division,a rguably the promotion’s deepest. The champion has taken a hiatus to compete in the current K-1 Grand Prix, citing a lack of credible and ready contenders as his impetus. The true number one contender, Fabricio Werdum, is out until the early part of 2011 at least while recovering from elbow surgery. The great Russian hope Fedor Emelianenko lost his status as rightful contender when he was defeated by Werdum back in June and there is a bevy of solid heavyweights (Antonio Silva, Andrei Arlovski, Sergei Kharitonov and recent addition Josh Barnett) whose positions in the division are unclear. Coker recently appeared on the Sherdog Radio Network’s Beatdown program where he revealed his plans for both Emelianenko and the rest of the heavyweight division.
“He’s not going to be back this year because the schedule is already full,” Coker said of the elusive Russian great, Emelianenko. “Who he fights (next), that’s something that we’ll probably have an announcement in the next, I would say, four weeks we’ll have an announcement on how we’re going to unveil this whole thing.”
Coker mentioned that he is fully supportive of Overeem’s stint in K-1 but that he is planning on feeding his desire for legitimate contenders upon his return; contenders whose positions he plans on establishing by making them all fight each other.
“One thing I can tell you is all these guys … Alistair, Fedor, Fabricio, Josh Barnett, ‘Bigfoot’ (Antonio Silva), (Sergei) Kharitonov, Andrei Arlovski, Brett Rogers, all those guys are all going to fight each other in 2011,” Coker said. “We’re not going to hold anything back. You’re going to see these guys fight the toughest guys because really, if you’re a heavyweight, there are no easy fights in Strikeforce. It’s arguably the best heavyweight division in the world, and I think Josh Barnett said it best. The competition is here. He signed with us because he wants to fight all those guys. We’re going to put those fights together, and I think the fans are going to love it.”