Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker has been enjoying the lion’s share of MMA media attention since last Saturday night’s Strikeforce: Fedor vs. Silva broadcast and most of the quotes he has given up concern Fedor Emelianenko, who lost his second fight in a row on that card. Coker appeared on MMAFighting.com’s The MMA Hour on Monday to discuss the event, Dana White’s Twitter tirade and Fedor’s future.
Though Emelianenko, who has long been considered one of the greatest martial artists ever to put on a pair of fingerless gloves, hinted strongly at retirement during his post-fight speech, Coker told Ariel Helwani, the host of The MMA Hour, that he doesn’t see “The Last Emperor” walking away from MMA yet.
“If the fighter doesn’t want to fight you’re not gonna want him to fight,” Coker said. “If the fighter doesn’t want to fight the promoter doesn’t make him fight. And if he wants to retire then it’s time to walk away. But I don’t think that’s the case … and I think the loser of Overeem and Werdum, that would be a great fight for Fedor.”
Coker’s assertion that Emelianenko will return to the cage may have turned out to be prophetic, as Emelianenko reportedly told Russian media that his hinting at retirement was premature, saying, “I rushed to declare my retirement. I am capable of having a few more fights.”
Coker also addressed comments which UFC president Dana White made via his Twitter account–which he took a considerable amount of flak from MMA fans for making–following Strikeforce: Fedor vs. Silva concerning Emelianenko’s loss, among other things.
“I respect Dana and what he’s done,” Coker, ever the pacificst, said when asked to comment on White’s Twitter rant. “Their success is great and our success is great, too. At least the guy’s watching, right? He’s watching Strikeforce. As long as he wants to keep watching Strikeforce that’s a good thing.”