Strikeforce

Strikeforce

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Each week, FIGHT! brings you the best from our friends around the web.

– MMA GIF Party: Fedor’s Translator Is Losing Her Goddamned Mind (Cage Potato)

– Fedor Emelianenko Discusses Overeem, Respect, and Role Models (LowKick)

– The Shogun Rua vs. Jon Jones Pic That Will Send Chills Down Your Spine (MMA Convert)

– How MMA Helped Packers’ Clay Matthews Become a Super Bowl XLV Champion (5thRound)

– Forrest Griffin Possibly Sidelined For Six Months With Foot Injury (Five Ounces of Pain)

– Mike Brown on Recent UFC Losses: ‘My Heart Is Broken’ (MMA Fighting)

– Dan Henderson Nearly Accepted a Spot on the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix (MiddleEasy)

– Anthony Pettis ‘Mad’ He Has to Wait for Title Shot (Versus MMA Beat)

– Jon Jones vs. Anderson Silva: How Great Would That Be For UFC? (SBNation.com/MMA)

– Snapshot of the Day: In Case You Were Wondering, Gina Carano is Still Pretty and Stuff (MMA-Scraps)

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(Melendez dominates Ishida.)

This week Strikeforce announced that it locked its Lightweight Champion, Gilbert “El Nino” Melendez (#3 Lightweight), into a new multi-year agreement.

“Strikeforce is my home, they’ve always been like family to me and I’m looking forward to continuing my career with them,” Melendez is quoted in the press release. “There are a lot of great fights out there for me – lots of challenges. I can’t wait to get back into the cage, do my thing and show the world that I’m still at the top of my game.’’

Despite Melendez’s sentiment, this announcement ensures several more years of problematic matchmaking for the Strikeforce Lightweight Champion. The only top-10 lightweight available to fight Melendez is Tatsuya “Crusher” Kawajiri (#10), a fighter with very little name recognition in America and a man Melendez already has a win over. The only other fighters in Strikeforce’s contender pipeline are Lyle “Fancy Pants” Beerbohm (#24) and Justin “Silverback” Wilcox (#26).

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(“Feijao” strikes a pose.)

This past weekend, Strikeforce confirmed four maincard bouts for Strikeforce: Feijao vs. Hendo, scheduled to take place on March 5 in Columbus, Ohio in conjunction with the Arnold Classic fitness expo. From 2007-2009, the UFC promoted cards during the Arnolds and in 2010, Zuffa promoted a WEC card in its place. When the company announced it would not return to Columbus in 2011, Strikeforce stepped in to fill the void at Nationwide Arena.

Strikeforce: Feijao vs. Hendo will be headlined by a Light Heavyweight title tilt betwen current champion Rafael “Feijao” Cavalcante (#13 Light Heavyweight) and former Pride champion Dan Henderson (#3). A women’s Featherweight (135 pounds) championship bout will pit champ Marloes Coenen against challenger Meisha Tate, and Tim Kennedy (#28 Middleweight) vs. Luke Rockhold (#33) and Billy Evangelista (#69 Lightweight) vs. Jorge Masvidal (#66) will likely move two fighters closer to title contention.

Strikeforce: Feijao vs. Hendo will air live on SHOWTIME at 10 p.m. EST/PST. Tickets go on sale to the general public Fri., Feb. 4 at 10 a.m. EST.

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(Photo by Esther Lin for MMAFighting.)

At FIGHT! Magazine, we believe there is a need for a completely objective and unbiased ranking system for fighters to replace the myriad subjective rankings that have become skewed, in many instances, by fighter popularity. In an effort to address this issue FIGHT! Magazine brings you its computerized rankings system which takes into account a fighters strength of opponent, strength of performance, and frequency of activity. Go here for a detailed explanation of how FIGHT!’s rankings work.

Two Strikeforce Championship belts were on the line on Sat. in San Jose, Calif., and both left with the men who brought them. Full results of Strikeforce: Diaz vs. Cyborg can be found here, and below you’ll find a full analysis of how the fights affected FIGHT!’s MMA Fighter Rankings.

Strikeforce Welterweight Champion Nick Diaz defended his belt on Sat., finishing Evangelista “Cyborg” Santos with an armbar at the end of round two. Diaz came into the fight #6 in our Welterweight Rankings and he left the fight in the same spot. Santos also stayed put at #35.

Diaz earned his top 10 ranking, finishing eight of his last nine opponents, but it’s unlikely that he’ll move into the top five until one of the guys ahead of him (GSP, Penn, Fitch, Shields, Koscheck) lose by stoppage in his next fight or GSP moves up to Middleweight permanently.

In a Strikeforce Middleweight Championship bout, the champ Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza weathered a storm from the challenger, Robbie Lawler, but finished “Ruthless” with a third-round rear naked choke. Souza jumps from #9 to #3 in FIGHT!’s Middleweight Rankings, while Lawler falls from #11 to #25.

There are several interesting top 25 opponents available for “Jacare” outside of the UFC, guys like Hector Lombard (#7), Paulo Filho (#17), Denis Kang (#18), Alexander Shlemenko (#22) and Siyar Bahadurzada (#23). The problem is that none of them are under contract with Strikeforce, either. In a post-fight interview with Ariel Helwani, Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker said he’d know more about Jacare’s next opponent “in a week or so.”

Roger Gracie made a statement in a Light Heavyweight feature bout, finishing Trevor Prangley with a RNC at 4:19 of round one. Gracie slides up two spots, from #20 to #18 in FIGHT!’s Light Heavyweight Rankings, while Prangley falls from #35 to #51.

In other action, James Terry leaps from #90 to #44 at 170 with a win over Lucas Gamaza, who enters our welterweight poll at #130. Nate Moore entered the Middleweight Rankings at #58 following his win over Nate Coy, who entered our Welterweight Rankings at #150. Ron Keslar enters the Welterweight poll at #80 after his win over Eric Lawson, who falls from #89 to #133 in the Middleweight Rankings. Isaiah Hill jumped from #158 to #91 in the Lightweight Rankings with a win over Bobby Stack. Stack falls from #63 to #125.

No other ranked fighters appeared on the card.

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(“The Fighter” captures two months spent living and training with the Skrap Pack. Props to MovieMaker76.)

Each week, FIGHT! brings you the best from our friends around the web.

– Justin Wren’s Journey To the Heart of Darkness (Cage Potato)

– Don King Says Boxing Could Learn A Lot from The UFC (MMA Fighting)

– If Stann can’t get Wand, he’ll settle for Bisping or Belfort (LowKick)

– Five lessons we learned for UFC Fight for the Troops II (Versus MMA Beat)

Herschel Walker: ‘This is not a gimmick for me. This is life.’ (FiveOuncesofPain)

– Ricco Rodriguez to begin his road back to the UFC against James McSweeney at BAMMA 5 (MiddleEasy)

– A tribute to Chuck Liddell (ProFighting-Fans)

– Watch Hatsu Hioki choke Mark Hominick unconscious (MMAScraps)

– Legend FC 4: Pang vs. Nam Hits PPV On Fri. (5thRound)

– Both UFC and Strikeforce planning 2011 events in Japan (MMAConvert)

– Elimination round for TUF 13 nixed by UFC and Spike (SBNation/MMA)

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(Riggs makes contact with Louis Taylor in his final Strikeforce appearance.)

Yesterday Bellator announced the addition of Joe “Diesel” Riggs (#45 Middleweight) to its roster. Not yet 30 years old, the veteran fighter has nearly 50 bouts under his belt and 11 years of professional experience.

“This is the healthiest and the happiest that I can ever remember being in my life. I’m in the prime of my life, I’m injury-free, and things have just really come together in my life,” the UFC, WEC, and Strikeforce veteran was quoted as saying in the press release. “I just can’t wait to show everyone what I have.” No announcement was made regarding Bellator’s next middleweight tournament, so it is unclear at this time whether Riggs will participate in a tourney or simply be booked in a superfight with Bellator Middleweight Champion Hector Lombard.

“Bellator has a lot of well-rounded, talented guys in their middleweight division,” said Riggs. “Guys like Bryan Baker, Eric Schambari, and of course the Middleweight Champion, Hector Lombard. There are some really good middleweights for me to test myself against, and it was one of the reasons I came to Bellator.”

Late last week Bellator announced the third entrant in its season four Welterweight Tournament. Brent Weedman (#84) will join Dan Hornbuckle (#57 Welterweight) and unranked former Olympic judoka Rick Hawn as they compete for $100,000 and a shot at Bellator Welterweight Champion Ben Askren (#16).

The promotion’s inaugural Light-Heavyweight Tournament is the only other officially-announced component of Bellator’s upcoming fourth season, which will air on MTV2. In the coming weeks, Bellator will announce its season four tournament participants. To date, the only other announced fighters for season four are Daniel Gracie and Ron Sparks.

The promotion currently boasts champions in all men’s divisions but Flyweight and Light Heavyweight. Those champions are Zach Makovsky (#11 Bantamweight), Joe Warren (#2 Featherweight), Eddie Alvarez (#10 Lightweight), Ben Askren (#16 Welterweight), Hector Lombard (#6 Middleweight), Cole Konrad (#24 Heavyweight), and Zoila Frausto, who will likely be at the top of the heap when FIGHT! unveils its Women’s Flyweight Rankings.

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Strikeforce Challengers 13 will take place tonight at the Nashville Municipal Auditorium in Nashville, Tenn. The card is headlined by a welterweight bout between Tyron Woodley (#27 Welterweight) and Tarec Saffiedine (#38) and features Olympic wrestler and undefeated prospect Daniel Cormier (#30 Heavyweight) vs. Devin Cole (#83), fast-rising Ovince St. Preux (#32 Light Heavyweight) vs. Ron Humphrey (#93) as well as Olympic judoka Rhadi Ferguson and a women’s featherweight bout between Amanda Nunes and Julia Budd. The massive untelevised undercard features a slew or relative neophytes and a handful of midwestern journeyman and is headlined by UFC veteran John Salter (#99 Middleweight)

Check back in with FIGHT! tomorrow for full results and analysis of how the fights affected our rankings.

The mixed martial arts event will air live on SHOWTIME at 11 p.m. EST/PST as part of the network’s free preview weekend, which includes television series and movie premieres as well as access to SHOWTIME On Demand. The Free Preview Weekend is available to digital subscribers of participating providers only. Not all services are available in all areas. Previews may contain PG, PG-13, TV-14, TVMA and R rated programming. You must be a digital subscriber to receive video on demand and HD. Viewers who tune in and order SHOWTIME for the first time, can get $25 cash back. For additional details on the offer go to SHO.com/order and for SHOWTIME Free Preview weekend, go to SHO.com/freepreview.

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(Props to Lowkick.)

Each week, FIGHT! brings you the best from our friends around the web.

– What if the UFC Held Its Own Heavyweight Grand Prix? (Cage Potato)

– Five Lessons: UFC 125 (Versus MMA Beat)

– Antonio McKee: Loss in UFC Debut Was a ‘Humbling Experience’ (MMA Fighting)

– UFC 125 Aftermath: Clay Guida’s Enthusiasm For Fighting Is A Draw For New MMA Fans (SBNation.com/MMA)

– 11 Fighters The UFC Should Sign In 2011 (Heavy.com/MMA)

– Video: Hatsu Hioki vs. Marlon Sandro Featherweight Title Fight From Sengoku ‘Soul of Fight’ (MMA Scraps)

– Watch Dana White Give Snoop Dogg $20,000 in Unmarked Bills (MiddleEasy)

– Miesha Tate Targeting March 5 in Ohio for Welterweight Title-Shot (Five Ounces of Pain)

– Brock Lesnar Wants You to Read His New Book (MMA Convert)

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(Overeem drops UFC vet Todd Duffee with a short left to take the DREAM Heavyweight Championship on New Year’s Eve. Check out the full gallery here.)

While injuries, unexplained layoffs, and legal problems have put most of the UFC’s meaningful heavyweight fights in limbo for the time being, Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker is making hay while the sun shines. Yesterday, Strikeforce, M-1 Global, and Showtime Networks officially announced the quarterfinal match-ups of the much-rumored Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix. The tournament, which will take place over several events throughout the year, features five fighters in the top 10 of FIGHT!’s Heavyweight Rankings, and seven in the top 25.

The first event will air live on Showtime from the IZOD Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey on Feb. 12, 2011, and will feature former PRIDE Heavyweight Champion Fedor Emelianenko (#2 Heavyweight) vs. Antonio Silva (#10) and former UFC Heavyweight Champion Andrei Arlovski (#27) vs. Sergei Kharitonov (#16). No other fights from the card have been rumored or announced at this time.

The other two quarterfinal bouts, which will take place at a yet-to-be-determined event this spring, will feature Strikeforce, DREAM, and K-1 Grand Prix Heavyweight Champion Alistair Overeem (#4) vs. Fabricio Werdum (#3) and former UFC Heavyweight Champion Josh Barnett (#6) vs. (Brett Rogers (#14).

“Strikeforce is home to the best heavyweight division in the world,” Scott Coker is quoted as saying in the press release. “The athlete who runs the gauntlet in a tournament such as this would have to be considered the best heavyweight fighter in the world.”

It is unclear at this time whether Overeem’

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On Weds., Strikeforce announced that Welterweight Champion Nick Diaz (#6 Welterweight) would defend his belt against Evangelista “Cyborg” Santos (#35) at the HP Pavilion in San Jose, Calif., on Jan. 29. Winner of his last eight fights and 11 of 12 since his submission win over Takanori Gomi in 2007 was overturned due to Diaz’s failed drug test, Diaz will face a whittled-down version of the fighter who began his career fighting north of 200 pounds. The as-yet-unnamed event will also feature a title fight between Strikeforce Middleweight Champion Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza (#10 Middlweight) and “Ruthless” Robbie Lawler (#12), a rubber match between reality show host and FIGHT! contributor Jason “Mayhem” Miller (#21 Middleweight) and Tim Kennedy (#27). Miller lost to Kennedy in the semi-finals of a tournament at Extreme Challenge 50 in 2003 and defeated him at an HDNet Fights event in 2007. The main card will be rounded out by a light heavyweight bout between Trevor Prangley (#37 Light Heavyweight) and Roger Gracie (#20) and match featuring Heisman Trophy-winning former NFL star Herschel Walker and one-time WEC vet Scott Carson.

Tickets for the event go on sale Mon., Dec. 27 and the main card will air live on Showtime at 10 p.m. EST/PST.

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