What kind of impact will Fedor's loss have on Strikeforce?Posted on June 28, 2010, 10:13 AM by Daniel Cassidy
Let's be honest, for Scott Coker and company, Saturday night couldn't have went much worse. What started off as a good night of fighting, with no upsets, quickly changed. It took just 69 seconds for Fabricio Werdum to shock the world, and turn Strikeforce's Heavyweight division on it's head. Not only that, but this shock win has changed the HW rankings as well.
With Fedor's downfall, Strikeforce can no longer lay claim to housing the World's Number 1 Heavyweight among their ranks. Sure, the win now leaves Werdum high in the ranks, perhaps maybe even top 5, but the only problem is dudring Vai Cavalo's time in UFC, he suffered losses to former UFC champ Andrei Arlovski and then a KO to current top ten HW Junior Dos Santos. Ranking Werdum above JDS is rather difficult, given it was just three fights ago that JDS cleaned his clock.
But what now for Strikeforce? Today Scott Coker I'm sure expected to be talking about Fedor fighting Alistair Overeem, in a bout which would give the Strikeforce belt the credibillity it sorely needs. Instead of this, Strikeforce seems set on a rematch between Werdum and Fedor. Instead of promoting another legit challenger to Overeems belt, they are taking away from Werdum's acheievement.While a rematch between Fedor and Werdum will give SF another high profile fight, it leaves Overeem in limbo. He made it quite clear beforehand he wanted the winner of this bout. To be quite honest, it's possible a very disrespected Overeem could walk away from Strikeforce, with his desire to fight Werdum or Fedor being ignored.
The Strikeforce roster may not be nearly as deep as the UFC's, but that is not to say it is without talent, or more importantly, marketable fights. While the Heavyweight division is somewhat messy, other divisions are a little more strightforward. Coker has promised to hold a Middleweight tournament, whether or not Jake Shields takes UFC's offer and vacates his belt. The middleweight division is perhaps where SF is strongest. They hold some very significant fighters, such as Ronaldo "Jacare" Souza, Dan Henderson, Cung Le, Robbie Lawler and Jason Miller, to name a few.
As for other weights, marketable fights are less obvious. While there is the possibillity of a couple of "Super fights", these do very little for the company's rankings, with so much jumping around in weights. Sure, people will want to see scores settled between Nick Diaz and Jason Miller or KJ Noons, but after this, then what? Short of bringing in more talent, of which UFC seems to be picking up most free agents of any significant value, after these fights there really isnt much more to do.
The Lightweight division offers even less exciting fights. Lightheavyweight provides fans with more names than any division outside of HW, but most big named matches have already happened. Harcore fans will always watch for the fights, but casual fans are only drawn in by big names.
Despite this, Scott Coker's plans of co-promotion with Dream do allow a couple of other fights, but the problem here is that Strikeforce lose out on a great deal of money in this situation, and this could see Strikeforce belts heading into other promotions, something which has stopped UFC President Dana White from even considering the possibillity. Losing a belt to another promotion completely undermine's the belt and the original promotion.
So, overall, the effect Fedor's loss has on Strikeforce is all down to Strikeforce's next move. Should Werdum fight Overeem, it gives acknowledgement to Werdum as a legit HW. If Werdum should fight Fedor in an instant rematch, then Strikeforce are basically calling his win a fluke, by giving Fedor another chance.
The only immediate issue Fedor's loss creates is with any possible negotiations with UFC. Without his unblmieshed career record, M1 have lost much of their overall leverage with UFC. With Fedor no longer at the top of the HW food chain, M1 are no longer able to hold UFC to randsom. Strikeforce have ironically and inadvertantly given UFC the worlds number 1 Heavyweight, without costing them a single green cent. It seems this Saturday night, the UFC's showcase bout betweeen Brock Lesnar and Shane Carwin will now determine who really is the Heavyweight division's Top Dog, once and for all.