High on Christ. And Fedor’s money.
Since I’m apparently the official unofficial Strikeforce news-blower around here, it’s about that time for a roundup of items that are perhaps too bite-sized to justify their own separate articles (despite what Bloody Elbow might have you believe). Let’s get it on after the jump:
First off, Strikeforce held a meet-n’-greet “fan experience” in the Big Apple yesterday to promote the upcoming heavyweight tournament. Umm… yeah, that’s all I have to say about that, so check out CagePotato’s photo/video highlights HERE.
Speaking of which, don’t forget the quarterfinals kick off this Saturday night with a sweater-less Fedor facing “Bigfoot” Silva, and Andrei “Vintage GI Joe” Arlovski taking on the last man to beat Ubereem, Sergei Kharitonov. The all-heavyweight main card is filled out with the tourney reserve matches of Shane del Rosario vs Lavar Johnson and Valentijn Overeem vs Ray Sefo, plus Chad “Lashley Killer” Griggs vs Gian Villante. Free prelims featuring some dudes you’ve never heard of will air on HDNet prior to the Showtime broadcast.
Apparently becoming even more confused about what weight class he belongs in, Dan Henderson told Sherdog that he was approached about entering the HW tourney, and was actually interested. The idea was eventually junked because Strikeforce managed to round up enough true heavyweights, but still… ol’ Hendo jumping weight to take on other PRIDE alumni would have nicely completed the whole “zombie PRIDE” effect.
In other news, MMAPayout says (via the Silicon Valley/San Jose Business Journal) that Strikeforce does indeed make money, and is on pace to earn “up to 30 million” in revenue this fiscal year. That’s revenue not profit, and it’s a far cry from the hundreds of millions the UFC rakes in every year, but probably a helluva lot better than the Japanese shows are doing these days. No word on how much of that finds its way into the pockets of certain sneaky fucking Russians, but maybe that has something to do with why Strikeforce’s offices are still in “a former hay barn” behind a gym.
If you’re one of us losers on Facebook, you can vote on the entrants in Strikeforce’s new ring-girl search contest. Or enter yourself… there’s supposedly 10 days left and still only a couple girls shown on there, so I guess you’d stand a decent chance. But hey, it’s not like there’s any need to replace Kelli Hutcherson anyway. And while you’re there, why doncha stop by and give Fightlinker some love.
Lightweight champ (and #2 ranked?) Gilbert Melendez has re-signed for a new multi-year contract with the promotion, and says, “There are a lot of great fights out there for me — lots of challenges.” By “out there,” I presume he means bringing in outside guys like Tatsuya Kawajiri, since Strikeforce basically has no one of their own to throw at him right now. Hopefully that match will come together for the proposed April event in Japan, which would make it one year since Gil last fought.
Now if you’re anything like me, I know what you’re thinking: “Sir, I’m a busy man. I have like six TPS reports to file today alone, and last night I watched a huge Nile crocodile chug down half a zebra in one gulp, in HD… so you’ll have to do better to catch my interest.”
Well then dig this, smartass: Sengoku has willingly set free one of its precious handful of relevant fighters, as MMA Fighting reports that middleweight champ Jorge Santiago has requested and received a release from his contract with World Victory Road. Michihiro Omigawa has already jumped ship back to the UFC, so that leaves only Hatsu Hioki and Marlon Sandro remaining on Sengoku’s list of half-decent fighters. Combined with their sponsor issues, suffice to say this does not bode well for the promotion’s future.
So what does this have to do with Strikeforce? The word on the street is that Santiago is most likely headed there, where he once swept a one-night four-man tournament in 2007 called “Four Men Enter, One Man Survives” (no shit). He also went 1-2 for knockouts in the UFC in 2006, so Strikeforce is probably more interested in him at this point, and I expect he’d do better there anyway. He’s currently ranked at #8 in the world, but as we’ve seen all too many times in the last couple years, kicking ass in Japan doesn’t necessarily mean you can hang with the competition stateside. But at least his epic war with Kazuo Misaki proves that scraps with the likes of Jacare, Mayhem, or Kennedy would be worth watching and then some.