August 14, 2009
After the month that Strikeforce had in trying to keep tomorrow night's Strikeforce together, it absolutely could not afford any drama with today's Gina Carano-Cristiane "Cyborg" Santos weigh-in. Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker and company went to unusual lengths to insure that the fighters were doing what they needed (0:51 mark):
"We took a lot of proactive measures to make sure didn't happen. We were weighing the girls all week," Coker told Cagewriter. "When Gina went to sleep last night she was right at weight (145). I was more concerned about Cyborg (she weighed in at 152 for her last Strikeforce fight). I talked to the Chute Boxe trainer and said 'she has to make weight.' When they landed [in San Jose] she was 152. We just let her do her thing and didn't interrupt, but we weighed them everyday."
With this much on the line and the new relationship with Showtime, Coker said he had no choice:
"I don't think we've ever been this diligent. This is a such high-profile event. This is a major fight for television, a major fight for us and a major fight for female fighting period."
Coker is expecting an excellent fight. Because of her all out style, Coker called Cyborg, the "Wanderlei Silva of female fighting." But he sounded confident that Carano has a great shot to pull the upset:
"I think Gina has a good gameplan. I think [her trainer, UFC fighter] Randy [Couture] feels confident. And when a coach feels confident, then I feel confident. I feel confident it's going to be a good fight."
Coker said tickets were scaling on the same pace as Strikeforce's event back in April featuring a Frank Shamrock-Nick Diaz main event. He said the last ticket report had sales around 10,800 and he expected a big walkup on fight night.
This card lost four major fighters due to odd injuries: Strikeforce heavyweight champ Alistair Overeem, Joe Riggs, Strikeforce lightweight champ Josh Thomson, and Nick Diaz was also dumped from the card when he failed to show for his California State Athletic Commission administered drug test last Friday.
Coker also addressed the rumors that the Renato "Babalu" Sobral-Gegard Mousasi had been challenged contractually by the UFC. Coker said UFC had no leg to stand on because Strikeforce had the rights to both contracts months ago.
Join Cagewriter in San Jose for Strikeforce live fight-by-fight blogging from the HP Pavilion. Maggie Hendricks will have a live chat here once the main card starts at 10:30 p.m. ET. On Sunday morning at 1:30 a.m. ET, ESPNRadio1100 presents the only live postfight show from the Strikeforce press conference. LISTEN HERE.
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