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How the Strikeforce tournament could go horribly wrong

Everyone has spent the last week jizzing Peter North levels of cum over Strikeforce’s heavyweight tournament. Comparisons to the UFC’s heavyweight division are being made by fans, and with Brock, Shane, and Cain out, people are giving Strikeforce the edge. It’s been a slow news week, and the promotion has really soaked up a lot of MMA fans’ free brain cycles.

But rather than join the big circle jerk, we here at Fightlinker would rather point out all the ways this tournament could turn to poo. Let’s look at some nightmare scenarios:

Fedor being a bitch again
Or should we say M-1 being a bitch? Sure, we’ve gotten guarantees from Scott Coker and the gang that everything is perfect now with their relationship with Fedor. But what happens if the first round of the tournament goes by and once again M-1 realizes that 50% or whatever percent they get from their ‘co-promotions’ is still a pathetic amount of money? There’s also the possibility of M-1 having their own shows on Showtime. If that deal ends up being not as plum as they thought it would, there could be trouble as well.

Consider this: Cain Velasquez ripped his shoulder to shreds fist-fucking Brock Lesnar into the canvas back in October. Now we’ll be lucky if he’s back in action by October 2011. And that’s just from delivering a one sided beating. Now take into account the possibility of cuts and broken hands. Fedor in particular is known for having the bone density of a lactose intolerant anorexic – his broken hands were better than M-1 at keeping him out of dream matches back in the 00’s.

Overeem fighting in Japan
What, did you think Alistair Overeem would follow up on his superstar 2010 in Japan by not fighting there in 2011? He’s already stated that he’s going to stuff fights in wherever he can, which could result in all sorts of problems: scheduling nightmares, losing outside the tournament, getting injured, getting medically suspended.

Josh Barnett’s steroid issues
Scott Coker would like you to think Josh has served his time and paid the price for his repeat steroid suspensions. That’s not exactly true. While he did pay a fine, he also ended up fighting twice in 2010 while under suspension in the US: once in Japan, and once in Australia. Add in the fact that he still hasn’t gone through the re-licensing process with the CSAC, and I can’t really think of any way he could be less clear of his latest hot piss test than he currently is.

Scott Coker is confident that he’ll be able to find commissions who’ll let Barnett fight, but commissions are also famous for changing their minds about stuff last second. A little pressure from the CSAC and who knows what could happen.

Oh, and of course you have to cross your fingers and hope Barnett doesn’t test positive AGAIN through three tests.

Five round fights
I have no idea why Strikeforce is trying so hard to make all fights five rounders. The champ gets five round fights, that’s just how it is, and it doesn’t seem so unfair or strange to me that the other guys would just be fighting three. It just adds to the possibility that shitty fights will drag on forever. And lemme tell you what: an ugly gassed out POS heavyweight fight that lasts for 25 minutes is the kind of thing that can really take the wind out of an event’s sails. Think Strikeforce: Nashville.

Worst-case scenario match-ups
Strikeforce is getting some shit for the uneven bracket distribution, but I think it’s smart. You never know what’ll happen in a tournament, and doing everything you can to get the important fights out of the way before chaos fucks something up is just a good idea. But things could still go horribly wrong. Imagine the unthinkable: Bigfoot vs Werdum 2 in the semi-finals. An obvious final like Overeem vs Rogers 2. Werdum vs Kharitonov in the finals would sell approximately 7 pay per views.

  • agentsmith

    Yeah, I don’t know why anyone would think it’s so unfair for the championship fights to be 5-rounders… it’s not like whole tournament is all on the same night, there’s plenty of time to recover.

  • Symbul

    I like the idea in principle that all the fights go 5 rounds. They can (and Coker floated this on the SRN) make all the fights for the ‘GP Semifinals 2011 Bracket A Championship’ or the ‘Coors Lite’ championships and that should be perfectly kosher with the ACs. On the other hand of course I am leery of heavyweights fighting past ten minutes.

  • Rodriguez

    Josh wasn’t under suspension. He was popped while re-licensing in Cali.

  • P W

    But still, you gotta give ‘em credit for setting their aim high!

  • Reverend Clint

    Hw 5 rd fights with the right side of the bracket sounds terrifying.
    I hope josho gets to fight legit but I’m not holding my breathe.

  • lukustra

    or you could just be happy that we’re about to see the best heavyweights in the world (outside of cain, jds, and carwin) go at it for the next few months practically for free and stop bitching about everything strikeforce does. even if there are issues after the first round, we’re still getting four really good heavyweight fights +2 replacement fighter fights.

  • agentsmith

    Josh just needs to hook up with Chael’s doctor… smoke&mirrors, smoke&mirrors, tiny balls, BOOM, everything’s cool. Just make sure you fill out the paperwork properly, they hate that shit.


    Why do they keep calling this a tournament? It’s not a tournament. They basically mapped out the title picture in their HW div. (which was long overdue).

    Overeem is the champ and will be defending his belt against Werdum. The winner of that fight will be the champ and will defend his belt against the winner of Fedor – Silva. The winner of that fight will be the champ and so on……

  • Reverend Clint

    what happens if there is a draw?

  • agentsmith

    It qualifies as a tournament because a series of multiple matches are set in advance, regardless of how long it takes. It’s one thing to say “the winner of Edgar vs Maynard fights the winner of Pettis vs Henderson” kinda thing, it’s quite another to lay out an entire 8-man bracket in advance… that’s what scientists call a “tournament”.

    In fact, you could call the UFC/WEC lightweight unification a 4-man tournament. Or at least we could have before Edgar & Maynard drawed and Pettis took another fight to keep busy.

    Clint, I’d say in case of a draw they should borrow Sengoku’s “must decide” rule. Who knows if the US athletic commissions would go for that though… or if Coker has even thought of it.

  • Reverend Clint

    the right side is a tourny on the level of your average barn brawl championship and the left side is basically like booking the fights people actually have wanted to see every few months.

  • Simco

    The odds of getting all of these guys fighting on a regular schedule is practically impossible.
    I’m impressed with how Strikeforce called this a tournament, knowing full well that by doing so it would all but force every blog and messageboard to talk about what is just a normal set of bookings. All legit contenders are fighting for the belt while the rest of the division sorts itself out for the next shot. That’s just normal in any promotion, but Strikeforce calls it a tournament and now they’re trending.
    A+ marketing and exploitation of blogs and forums.

  • Reem.Hadouken

    None of these fights will go 5 rounds.

    Barnett just needs to be cleared. Show with a lawyer and a clear test and he’s fine.

    Injuries are injuries. shit happens i guess.

  • glassjawsh

    @ simco – so basically any mma tournament that doesn’t include people who have no chance of winning is not a tournament?

  • DJ ThunderElbows

    I’m just waiting for the fights. If they come: awesome; if not; c’est la vie.

    But I’m not getting bent out of shape over a number of guys who think they’re better than than the promotion that’s paying their bills.

  • lukustra

    right side is much weaker for sure but Barnett is actually a really good fighter that will pose as a good matchup for who ever makes it to the “finals” in the left column. remember, he was suppose to fight Fedor in affliction and we were all waiting on that fight.

  • iamphoenix

    i hope this whole thing fails. it’s more funny that way.

  • frickshun

    ^^I said the same thing about my wife’s 1st pregnancy…..

  • Simco

    “@ simco – so basically any mma tournament that doesn’t include people who have no chance of winning is not a tournament?”

    I’m not surprised that this is what you took away from my post.