Scott Coker and Showtime can't win for trying. The Strikeforce CEO seems to have everything backfire on him. First it was Jake Shields downing prize free-agent Dan Henderson and grabbing the Strikeforce middleweight title. Now Shields is off to the UFC as a free agent.
Next up was Fabricio Werdum pulling the upset on Fedor Emelianenko. Instead of the fight drawing a huge audience in primetime on CBS, the broadcast was on Showtime. Worst yet, it's ruined the drive for the fight everyone wants to see, Fedor against Alistair Overeem. Or has it?
Coker is starting to show a "screw it" attitude when it comes to Fedor's final fight with the promotion. It sounds like he's ready for a fight against Fedor's management team with M-1. They immediately asked for a rematch against Werdum. Meanwhile Coker told Sherdog Radio, not so fast my friends, and sounds like he's ready for a fight.
"We just saw Fedor fight Werdum. I’m not saying we couldn’t do the rematch first. I’m just saying there are a couple of options on the table and the other option would be to fight Alistair … but until we sit down with M-1, these are all just the options … For me, the times have changed and it’s going to be an interesting negotiation now."
Coker reiterated his interest in pushing Fedor in a different direction.
"My feeling is maybe Fedor should fight Alistair Overeem and whoever wins that fight gets to fight Fabricio Werdum. Alistair vs. Fedor? I’d love to see that fight happen."
It's a brilliant idea. Make the fight the fans want to see and maximize your audience before Fedor leaves the promotion. Other bloggers aren't so keen on Werdum being left out in the cold. A nameless post on Cage Potato flipped out on Coker.
Look genius, everybody would like to see Fedor vs. Overeem happen, but unless you want your titles to lose all significance and your matchmaking to devolve into utter chaos, you probably shouldn't have Fedor challenge for Overeem's belt after getting subbed in 69 seconds.
The Strikeforce titles will lose their significance? With the majority of fight fans, do they have any now? Casual fans, the ones you need to pull in a gigantic audience in Fedor's final fight with the promotion, care about these belts? You know the answer. Nothing against the fine folks with Strikeforce, but their belts are viewed no differently than the WBC, IBF, WBA, etc. in boxing. Quick! Name what belt Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao will fight for if their fight goes down on Nov. 13? Exactly. No one cares. We just want to see the best fight the best.
Congrats to Werdum for pulling off the upset of the century. It's the fight business, money drives the whole thing. Coker, put together Fedor vs. Overeem and we'll all be there. The folks upset that it's "not right" can boycott. I'll put my feet up on your empty cageside seat. Thanks.