Well it turns out the “Strikeforce: Columbus” card on March 5th won’t be quite as stacked as we’d hoped. ESPN reports that April 9th is pegged as the date for the second set of quarterfinal matches in Strikeforce’s ambitious heavyweight tournament, featuring Alistair Overeem vs Fabricio Werdum and Josh Barnett vs Brett Rogers, at a “to be determined” location. Translation: wherever they can get Barnett licensed. Scott Coker has confirmed the card will also feature the return of lightweight champ Gilbert Melendez, and Dream star Tatsuya Kawajiri is rumoured to be his opponent.
The lawless locale for this event could be Japan after all, as Coker is said to be meeting with reps from Real Entertainment, who are partners with FEG in DREAM:
Sotaro Shinoda, a representative for Real Entertainment, the Japanese company that co-produced Pride events before partnering with FEG to form Dream in 2008, is expected to meet with Coker Thursday evening to discuss details about bringing the Showtime-televised card to Tokyo.
Strikeforce and Dream have partnered several times in fighter exchanges. The April card would mark Strikeforce’s first event in Japan — a goal of Coker’s since he entered the mixed martial arts business in 2006.
Josh Gross also tweeted that even if April 9th in Japan can’t be done (and let’s be realistic, two months to organize it is a huge effing stretch), Scott Coker was ‘gushing’ over the possibility of bringing the semi-finals there. We’ve already stated why we think Japan is a terrible idea. At this point we’ll just sit back and take the same attitude we’d have if someone told us they were going to jump the Grand Canyon on a motor scooter: Good luck! It will be an entertaining disaster!
The first set of quarterfinals goes down on February 12th under the way less sketchy control of the New Jersey athletic commission, with Fedor vs “Bigfoot” Silva, and Andrei “PeePee Taste” Arlovski vs Sergei “I Will Break You” Kharitonov. Also on that card are the reserve matches, with Shane del Rosario facing Lavar Johnson, and Alistair’s older and shittier brother Valentijn taking on K-1 kickboxer Ray Sefo in Sefo’s third MMA fight ever.