Strikeforce announces a switch to tournament format, PRIDE fanboys splooge

Back in April the NSAC approved a small show’s request for doing a two round tournament on one night. At the time I was young and naive, and thought perhaps this could mean the UFC-owned PRIDE would be able to continue it’s Grand Prix in America now. Oh, stupid me. But all hope is not lost … it looks like Strikeforce is hearing the call of every PRIDE fanboy on the internet and is bringing back tournaments:

Scott Coker, who promoted numerous tournaments when he helped promote K-1 kickboxing shows, will stage a four-man tournament to determine the No. 1 challenger for the Strikeforce middleweight title on Nov. 16 at HP Pavilion in San Jose, Calif.

Coker said he has signed Joe Riggs (27-9) and Niko Vitale (24-7) to compete in the tournament and is working on landing two others.

“It is my hope that the winner can fight Frank, and I’ve talked with him about that,” Coker said.

Coker said Strikeforce plans to use the tournament format extensively going forward. He said he plans to have tournaments for the heavyweight and lightweight titles sometime in 2008.

I’ve always been a fan of tournaments … sure they often create unfair finals between a fresh fighter and an exhausted fighter. And sure, it’s easy to skew the results however you want by matching the guy you want to win against a pushover in the first round. But you just can’t beat the drama and excitement of having guys fight more than once over the night. Plus, it’s for the belt which means you get to see all of a promotion’s best fighters in one weight class over the night.

Of course, there’s some problems with Strikeforce’s plans. First, they’re crossing their fingers and hoping Frank Shamrock agrees to fight whoever wins. Frank already seems to have his mind made up that he wants to fight Renzo Gracie again in the spring, so given his slow schedule that might mean the winner of this tournament may be stuck twiddling his thumbs until this time next year. And that’s IF Frank Shamrock decides the winner is worthy of fighting him.

Second, because you’re stacking a card with all your top names in a weight class it’s gonna be a pretty expensive card. Plus you need to have decent depth across several weight classes in order to still have talent to fill your other cards with. Finally, you always run the risk of everyone injuring eachother and having some dude win the tournament by default. Tournaments are a wild and unpredictable thing … you never know what’s gonna happen. That’s why it’s great as a casual fan to see.

Me, I just hope the legitimacy of the tournament system isn’t smashed because Frank Shamrock doesn’t feel like fighting whoever wins.

  • Swedish guy

    That’s one of the major issues MMA has to overcome to complete the leap from entertainment to a full-fledged sport while still retaining it’s entertainment value: stop letting the fighters decide who to fight.
    Imagine if that was the case in any other sport, Swedish national hockeyteam sitting out on the olympic final because they don’t wanna face off with the canadians who beat them a few years ago? Of course not. How come MMA fighters get to pick who they’re up against?
    Plus, it comes with the tough fighter image: “i’ll fight anybody they put in front of me (until i have the belt and start getting picky)”.

  • http://www.ufcdaily.com Kris Karkoski

    I am really looking forward to this tournament. It’s a great way to sort out a division. Might make sense for the UFC to use an identical format to crown a heavyweight champ though it’s just wishful thinking.

  • ted dibiase

    im heading to my balcony right now… and im taking sam’s advance. im bring a blanket. question fight linker: which feels better? a thumbless hand or do we have one up on the apes?

  • ted dibiase

    *advice

    im so ecxited i cant ytpe

  • http://www.mmacalifornia.net Erin

    Shit, I wasn’t even aware that the CSAC allowed one night tournaments.

  • http://www.nem0.net nem0

    Strikeforce had to badger the CSAC for special permission to do a tourney. Here’s hoping something doesn’t get fucked up and make the CSAC deny any future tournaments.

  • http://www.shcmarketing.com hbdale309

    Does anyone want to see Frank fight Renzo again? Not me. Frank would be taking a step back in competition and then taking another step sideways (and maybe back a little) in fighting Cung. Screw that; bring on ‘Riggs vs. Frank in ’08’! It almost rhymes too.

    You know Riggs will easily win that tourney.

  • DJ Hapa

    off topic….

    Fedor fights Ken Shamrock in his first M1 fight. Just letting you know ahead of time.

  • Audacity

    Tournaments tend to bring out the best in fighters. The first round is a bit lackluster because both fighters are trying to conserve strength for the next round, but overall the fights are competitive. Although not on one night, the UFC is having a mini-tournament for the vacant Heavyweight title with Sylvia vs. Vera and Noguiera vs. Kongo. Tournaments don’t always come out with the best contender victorious, but on the other hand, who’s going to fight Silva after Franklin? A tournament would clear that up. Who’s the real number one contender in LHW…I mean, there are some guys that we could pair up with Jackson for the hell of it, but a tournament for contendership is hard to argue.

    and Ted: Apes have opposable thumbs. They’re actually one of the few animals that have them. It’s what made scientists consider evolution to be a possibility. For the love of God man, read a book.

  • http://www.mma-analyst.com LR

    Does anyone want to see Frank Shamrock get steamrolled by a no-name? I do. Somebody come along and do it.

  • MJC_123

    Wooooo tournaments!
    Its all about someone getting a right good kicking in the first round, winning and getting further pummelled in the later stages! I mean imagine if Sakuraba had beaten Arona in the MW 2005 GP by chance and then had to fight again!!!!

    We win on this one folks

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