Fabricio Werdum vs. Fedor Emelianenko: Dave Mandel/Sherdog.com
Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker said the promotion is considering a heavyweight championship bout between Alistair Overeem and Fedor Emelianenko next, despite Emelianenko’s recent defeat to Fabricio Werdum.
Werdum submitted Emelianenko with a 69-second choke triangle-armbar at Strikeforce/M-1 Global “Fedor vs. Werdum” on June 26 in San Jose, Calif. It was the 33-year-old Emelianenko’s first loss in 29 fights and nearly 10 years.
Emelianenko’s M-1 Global management, which co-promotes select events with Strikeforce, has already requested the rematch with Werdum “right away,” according to Coker. Under the current contract, Emelianenko will return to the U.S., at least one more time to compete under the Strikeforce/M-1 Global banner.
“My feeling is maybe Fedor should fight Alistair Overeem and whoever wins that fight gets to fight Fabricio Werdum,” Coker told the Sherdog Radio Network’s “Beatdown” show last week. “Alistair vs. Fedor? I’d love to see that fight happen.”
Coker said negotiations to extend the agreement between the two entities for more co-produced events featuring Emelianenko are forthcoming.
“We just saw Fedor fight Werdum. I’m not saying we couldn’t do the rematch first,” said Coker. “I’m just saying there are a couple of options on the table and the other option would be to fight Alistair…but until we sit down with M-1, these are all just the options…For me, the times have changed and it’s going to be an interesting negotiation now.”
As for the promotion’s heavyweight champion Overeem, Coker quelled talk that the 31-year-old Dutch striker’s attention might be divided with his preliminary plans to enter a K-1 tournament this summer.
“I talked to Alistair and have really good contact with his management and they told me his priority is going to be fighting in America,” said Coker. “If he does want to enter the K-1 tournament, I have no problem with that. We’ll schedule around that because I know he has a personal goal that he’d like to win that tournament.
“I think (Overeem) wants to fight Fabricio Werdum really bad and I think he wants to fight Fedor really bad,” added Coker. “He is our champion, so we’ll put those fights together for him.”