Coker Discusses Strikeforce Title Pictures, Concern for Smith & More

By Staff Dec 15, 2010
Scott Coker: Dave Mandel |

In addition to discussing potential opponents for Paul Daley and how negotiations are going with Fedor Emelianenko, Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker touched on a variety of other topics during his interview Monday on “Beatdown”:
On Dan Henderson’s knockout of Renato "Babalu" Sobral:
“He’s back to his old self. He took it very seriously this time, training very seriously, and he just feels comfortable at 205. He doesn’t have to diet down. He doesn’t have to not eat dinner the night before. When I talked to Dan at the weigh-ins, he was like, ‘I just had a meal and I still feel good.’ And he only weighed 203 even. I think he’s found his sweet spot. I don’t think you’ll see him fluctuating in weight like he has done in the past.”

On why Henderson, who lost his Strikeforce debut to Jake Shields at 185, moved up to 205:
“After the fight in April, and again -- that fight, you never know, because a guy jumps on you, lays on you, hugs you for five rounds -- that’s a tough way to gauge it. He just felt that he was depleted, that he ran out of gas a little bit. It was a tough weight cut for him … and at that time he said, ‘Look, I’d really like to try 205 and see how I feel there.”

On whether Henderson has entered the title mix at 205:
“Oh yeah, absolutely. I think Dan and ‘Feijao’ is a fight that we should definitely try to start the process of putting together.”

On whether Mike Kyle’s heavyweight loss to Antonio Silva hurt his standing as a light heavyweight:
“No, not all. … I thought he was about to win that fight for a second. To fight a guy that was 270 pounds and almost knock him out -- there was a point when I thought that fight was over. Antonio Silva came back. He dug in deep and he showed what he’s made of because I don’t think he’s ever been hit like that. Good for him, but for Mike Kyle, I think his stock rose.”

On whether Nick Diaz will keep moving up in weight for occasional fights:
“I think Nick is comfortable at 170. You know, Nick’s come up to 183 to fight Frank Shamrock. … He has come up, but I think that he feels comfortable at 170. … I think that 170 is his home.”

On whether he’s concerned about the damage Scott Smith has accrued in his career:
“I don’t think he’s ever been in a fight that hasn’t been traumatic, ever. Either he’s knocking you out or you’re knocking him out. After he fought Nick Diaz, we waited almost eight months to let him fight again because we were worried about his health and safety and then he fought Cung and he was victorious, but he still took some really damaging rounds in that fight. I think we waited another six months, but we’ve been waiting to let him rest and to let him heal. But I think at this point here, I think we’ll have to talk to [his manager] and Scott and say, ‘Look, there has to be a change. Something’s going to have to be different because these types of things don’t always have a good ending.’”

On whether Robbie Lawler’s knockout of Matt Lindland warrants a title shot against Ronaldo "Jacare" Souza:
“I think we have to really start looking at the possibility of Robbie and ‘Jacare’ fighting.”

On whether Strikeforce would ever hold a show in the UFC’s backyard of Las Vegas:
“I think Vegas is covered. In MMA, Vegas is covered. And I think if you look at the Bay Area, I know [the UFC] came to Oakland one time, but I think Bay Area MMA, this is the home of Strikeforce. … Why try to go to some place where they’re doing three or four shows a year or more, especially in Vegas? I think the UFC has done a good job of putting on great events and giving the people in Vegas a good place to come watch MMA.”

On the three straight stellar knockouts that concluded Strikeforce’s show on Saturday:
“In my 25 years in this fight business, I don’t think I’ve ever seen something like that. That’s including the time I worked for K-1.”
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