Sunday, January 30, 2011

Scott Coker "...Trying to get Strikeforce into Japan this year"

Although it may sound like a corny line sraight off of Monday Night Raw, I maintain that the battle for promotional supremacy will take place on Japanese soil, and everday we receive further confirmation of this. I've actually been saying this for a couple of years, enduring intense debates along the way.

But, the proof is in the pudding, rather the 5 oz. padding. The newest confirmation comes from a post-Strikeforce: Diaz vs. Cyborg press conference video with Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker.

I also maintain that Strikeforce has the upper hand over the UFC in any Japanese dealings. Scott Coker's K-1 experience alone is enough to boost Stikeforce in the JMMA market. There's also Strikeforce's partnership with Dream that could steer JMMA in the right direction if new talks of a Japanase lightweight tournament actually comes to fruition. If this event solidifies, it could be bigger than the upcoming heavyweight grand prix. Really, a shared line up between Dream (Real Entertainment) and Strikeforce could field names like Shinya Aoki, Tatsuya Kawajiri, Gesias Calvacante, Gilbert Melendez, Josh Thomson, Joachim Hansen, and Eddie Alvarez (a huge question mark), among other big name 155 lbers.

But unless, a Jordan Breen or some other nerdy MMA writer says it, this conversation holds no weight. Still, when the time is right, I won't hesitate to tell you "I told you so." Speaking of nerds, Josh Gross issued an article about the Japanese lightweight tournament hoped to take place this Spring. It's the perfect compliment to Scott Cokers interview (below).

Sources: Japan fight being planned
By Josh Gross
Updated: January 27, 2011, 8:39 PM ET

SAN JOSE, Calif. -- Dream co-producer Real Entertainment plans on forging ahead in the turbulent Japanese mixed martial arts promotion business with an eight-fighter lightweight tournament starting in May, sources tell

HDNet confirmed to that they would broadcast the tournament stateside.

The field would consist of Strikeforce and Real Entertainment fighters, possibly but not necessarily under the Dream banner, and likely without FEG, which has been its promotional partner since Pride Fighting Championships was purchased by Zuffa in 2007.

"We're committed to keeping our fighters active, but if we can help Dream and have our fighters go over there and participate in their tournament, why not?" said Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker, who confirmed ongoing discussions between his promotion and Real Entertainment for the May event. "If things go the way they should, I feel confident we'll send a bunch of guys over."

Strikeforce could provide up to five fighters. Japan's Shinya Aoki, Tatsuya Kawajiri and Katsunori Kikuno are also expected to participate.

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