Scott Coker confirms delay of the Heavyweight Grand Prix; Two title fights set for April 9thPosted on March 1, 2011, 07:52 PM by Joey Santosus
Following weeks of speculation, Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker has confirmed the delay of the promotion's Heavyweight Grand Prix Tournament.
"We just ran out of time," Coker explained (via ESPN.com). "I didn't find a venue that we thought would work for everybody, so we decided to move it."
The second set of quarterfinal bouts, which were expected to take place April 9th, are now likely to be contested on June 18th in Dallas - a move that Coker says will allow them to properly build on the success of the first event.
"The overwhelming success in New Jersey set the bar high," said Coker. "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."
The April 9th card was set to feature Heavyweight Champ Alistair Overeem vs. Fabricio Werdum and Josh Barnett vs. Brett Rogers. Instead, two title fights have been lined-up, including Welterweight Champion Nick Diaz defending against Paul Daley, as well as Lightweight Champion Gilbert Melendez vs. Tatsuya Kawajiri.
In addition to the title fights, a Light Heavyweight bout between former division champ Gegard Mousasi and Mike Kyle is likely, as are match-ups featuring Shinya Aoki and KJ Noons against yet to be named opponents.
While a venue for the April card has not been determined, Strikeforce officials did say that its been narrowed down to two different arenas and would neither confirm or deny rumors of Oakland, California's Oracle Arena hosting the event.