– It’s been a busy year for the San Jose-based Strikeforce organization … and it ain’t over yet. And if this past week is any indication, it’s safe to say that Strikeforce isn’t content with merely being the little engine that could.
After the acquisition of select Pro Elite assets earlier in the year, the Showtime/CBS television deal and of course the signing of Fedor Emelianenko, Scott Coker and Co. have clearly established themselves as not just an alternative to the UFC, but a viable and adroit mixed martial arts promotion with a long-term vision.
Part of that vision includes a fighter roster that extends beyond its inhouse talent, as evidenced by the “strategic alliance” formed with Fighting and Entertainment Group’s (FEG) Japan-based “DREAM” promotion.
While co-promotion is not something that’s currently under consideration, FEG officials told MMAmania.com earlier today that the partnership will allow contracted fighters to compete for either promotion if the opportunity arises, much like it did for Mitsuhiro Ishida back on July 30.
“Endless Fighter” was called in to rematch Gilbert Melendez for the Strikeforce interim lightweight title at “Carano vs. Cyborg” after current champ Josh Thomson was forced to withdraw from the Aug. 15 event when his leg failed to heal in time to obtain medical clearance to compete.
An alliance would also allow Emelianenko to compete in Japan where he is still revered for his accomplishments in the now defunct Pride FC. Coker even mentioned in a previous radio interview the possibility of a future bout between “The Last Emperor” and Sergei Kharitonov. In addition, fighters who eventually exhaust opportunities within their divisions can now find new challenges overseas. Now that Strikeforce has a relationship with both M-1 Global and DREAM, the promotion has access to international resources that will ultimately benefit the fans by creating match ups that in the past, may have been logistically impossible.