With its champion on the shelf for at least the next 12 months, Strikeforce's 145-pound female division appears to be on life support.
Last night, Scott Coker wanted the media and everyone else to pump the brakes.
On Friday, Dana White threw gasoline on the fire by saying the division might be finished (0:39 mark) with Cristiane "Cyborg" Santos' positive steroid test. Twenty-four hours later, Coker said no determination has been made about the reeling division.
"I don't think it's time to throw [the division] out to the garbage. I still think we have some great fighters at 145 and a lot of girls that maybe haven't been around for a while ... I believe they're going to be motivated to come back because Cyborg won't be there," Coker told the media at the Strikeforce postfight press conference.
The first name that jumps to mind is former 145-pound star Gina Carano, but she's been inactive for over two years and is on the verge of exploding in the entertainment world. Her first major movie, "Haywire" debuts on Jan. 20. Coker sent mixed messages on his former female meal ticket.
"I think Gina Carano is definitely somebody who'd like to fight again, but she's got a big movie guys. I'm not sure if you seen the commercials, it's everywhere," Coker said. "And Steven Soderbergh is gonna be behind her. When that happens, great things are going to happen for her. She might get another picture deal."
Coker doesn't believe Cyborg's suspension and Carano's possible permanent exit from the fighting landscape should bring an end to the division.
"There's girls out there that we can bring in to fight 145. I'm sure we'll evaluate it and make a business decision. I don't think the determination has been made yet," Coker said. "Trust me, there's other girls out there. We have a pulse on it as well as anybody else does."
Showtime also factors into the decision to move forward with two female divisions (135 and 145).
"Showtime loves the female division. Let me tell you, the female division has had some of the highest rated fights on Showtime," Coker said there have been cases in the past where the female fights have drawn stronger ratings on a card than the male fights. "They're going to want the female division. They're going to want great fighters in the female divisions. As long as Showtime wants it, we're going to provide it."
Coker also mentioned Ronda Rousey as a possible candidate to make a run at the vacant 145-pound title if it's made available.
Rousey is challenging 135-pound champ Miesha Tate on Mar. 3. If she loses, she could head back to 145.