Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker confirmed today that the two remaining quarter-final bouts for Strikeforce’s Heavyweight Grand Prix have been pushed back from their originally scheduled April 9th date to June 18 at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, TX.
Two tournament quarter-final bouts between Sergei Kharitonov and Andrei Arlovski as well as between Fedor Emelianenko and Antonio Silva took place last month in New Jersey, with Kharitonov and Silva advancing forward. Coker credits the success of that card as the reason for the delay.
“The overwhelming success in New Jersey set the bar high,” Coker told MMAjunkie.com in a prepared statement. “With a record pre-sale for Strikeforce tickets and a record viewership on Showtime, we’ve now given ourselves the proper amount of time to promote in one of the country’s biggest markets.”
Strikeforce heavyweight champ Alistair Overeem will face Fabricio Werdum on the June 18th card with the winner of that bout to take on Silva. In the other quarter-final bout, Josh Barnett will square off against Brett Rogers with the winner advancing to face Kharitonov.
Meanwhile, Strikeforce will keep its planned April 9th fight date for an event likely to be held in California. Strikeforce lightweight champion Gilbert Melendez will defend his strap against Tatsuya Kawajiri, while Strikeforce welterweight champion Nick Diaz will face Paul Daley. A light-heavyweight bout between former champion Gegard Mousasi and Mike Kyle is also expected to take place on the card.