So the latest news from Strikeforce is that the Cyborg / Akano fight is back on, with negotiations going on until 2am. Things looked very negative indeed for the majority of the evening. Zach from Fight Opinion pointed me towards a blog entry from Akano’s (very Japanese) manager Shu Hirata, which should show you the attitude he was taking during talks:
One of the fight bookers, Javier [Strikeforce’s matchmaker], this is the first thing he says when he is in there with me talking to the staff of the commission,
“Japanese Fighter is a game you do understand?”
Motherfucker, motherfucker, and think so?
Weighing over how the Japanese players is not something that I did not lose weight in a step that would make the game safe from it.
Quite frankly, I am, I’m out. Anger.
I did so because of that shit.
Basically, Akano’s team believed that Cyborg didn’t even bother trying to make weight, she just came in figuring she’d be given a pass the same way all the fighters from EliteXC used to. And honestly, I have to agree with that assessment. Cyborg has hit 140 before against Shayna Baszler, so this whole situation just reeks.
As for how things got on track, the details aren’t out yet. While everyone is assuming that Akano is getting a big pay raise (considering she’s probably making around $5000, I don’t really have a problem with this), the only thing we know for sure right now is this:
“I don’t really want to say what the deal is… but their gym will have a much better relationship with Strikeforce than just one fighter,” he [Coker] commented. He was referring to Abe Ani Combat Club, which is also home to several other top Japanese fighters including Takafumi Otsuka, Yasuko Tamada, and Megumi Fuji, who is in San Jose with Akano.
Hirata would not address financial details, but did say that Coker agreed that the background behind the struggles in getting this fight to the cage on Saturday night would be addressed on the Showtime telecast.
“I asked Mr. Coker to do so and he promised it to be addressed in the broadcast. I think it’s important to tell the story behind it,” stated Hirata.
What amazes me is the attitude many people are taking towards this situation, like Akano is the one being a fucking douche holding out after Cris Cyborg came in 7 pounds overweight. As Josh Barnett mentioned, Akano typically fights at 128 pounds. She was already dealing with a big weight disadvantage and now this. It’s fucking bullshit, and the people trying to pin anything on her are dickheads. How about some heat towards the chick who just shrugged and smiled when she came in one weight class over?