In the cage, Frank Mir just pulled off what might be the best comeback of the month. Outside, it's looking like Strikeforce is ready to shock naysayers and move briskly into 2012.
You just never know in the world of mixed martial arts. Three months ago it looked like Strikeforce was running on fumes. Now as we close 2011, it appears Scott Coker's baby is getting a second wind.
The Zuffa-owned company has two fight cards scheduled over the next three weeks and what sounds like a new deal to announce with Showtime any day now.
This weekend, the Strikeforce card in San Diego is headlined by the guy who's arguably the best fight in the deepest division in the world.
Gilbert Melendez defends his lightweight title. The biggest female name in the sport returns as well when Cristiane "Cyborg" is back from a near 18-Month layoff. The San Diego card also has KJ Noons, and one of the most underrated light heavyweights in the world in Gegard Mousasi.
Three weeks later, Strikeforce returns to an old Zuffa stomping ground at the Hard Rock in Las Vegas. It's a chance for the promotion to start building its young middleweight champ Luke Rockhold. Plus one of the best talkers in the biz is back when "King Mo" Lawal faces Lorenz Larkin. If Larkin has shored up his takedown defense, it'll be wild to see King Mo try and strike with the 12-0 striking whiz.
It's the beginning of what Dana White just about promised will be a big revival. He also made it clear that Strikeforce fighters won't feel like they're in the minor leagues.
"Gilbert Melendez and all the guys that are in the Strikeforce show and with Showtime, I will make this right," White said. "They will be happy to be there. Believe me. I've got this thing worked out. I've got it figured out. It's going to be good for everybody. It's going to be good for the fighters, it's going to be good for Showtime, and it's going to be good for Strikeforce. Trust me, I got this."
Appearing on HDNet's Inside MMA, Coker thinks Strikeforce is a very healthy brand with a deep roster of stars.