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Please to be doing the 8-man tournament, OK?

The whole “Where is Jake Shields going to go” news angle bores me because it’s pretty obvious even to those in a vegetative state that Shields will end up in the UFC. But tucked into this article on Shield’s contract status was this update on a possible 8 man middleweight tournament that Strikeforce is talking up again:

To boot, Coker told he is considering eight fighters for a potential tournament to begin at an event planned for Aug. 21: Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza, Robbie Lawler, Tim Kennedy, Dan Henderson, Nick Diaz and “Mayhem” Miller. Additionally, the winner of a June 26 bout between Scott Smith and Cung Le is under consideration for a tourney spot, as is the winner of an upcoming World Victory Road/Sengoku bout between Kazuo Misaki and champ Jorge Santiago.

The tournament would take place over two events, the Strikeforce CEO said. Houston is targeted for the first event, though the promotion has not confirmed a city or venue.

First, let me just say that I love the idea of an 8-man tournament, especially with the news that it will happen over 2 events. That means it’s probably gonna be run PRIDE style, with the opening round during one event and then the semis AND finals during the same night. Strikeforce already did something similar back in 2007 and it worked out pretty well … unlike the disastrous YAMMA tournament where fights were only allowed to go one five minute round, semis went two full rounds with a third round in case of a tie.

But now onto the small gripes (which don’t overshadow the badass nature of a tournament, but this is Fightlinker so we have to get this stuff off our chest): wassup with the Strikeforce welterweight champ fighting in the middleweight tournament? In a normal healthy promotional situation it’d be cool to see a dominating champ move up in weight classes to try and capture another belt via a tournament. But Nick Diaz just won the 170 pound belt in his last Strikeforce fight. His participation ends up looking like Strikeforce has nothing for him to do at 170 … which is true if you ignore the obvious KJ Noons and Jay Hieron fights like Strikeforce is, I guess.

Plus: No Babalu? Still trying to make him reconsider his drop to 185, guys? And what about Matt Lindland? He might not win the damn thing but he’d sure be an interesting addition to the tournament. Also, ten bucks says Cung Le won’t go into the mix for the same reason Frank Shamrock won’t: they’re happy being sideshow fighters who get paid to fight once in a while against opponents they think they can beat.