by Tom Hamlin – MMAWeekly.com
Three major pieces remain to be placed for “Strikeforce on Showtime” at San Jose, Calif.’s HP Pavilion on April 11.
Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker said an offered co-main event for KJ Noons to fight Josh Thomson was turned down by Noons’ manager Mark Dion, who said his client wanted to focus on boxing for the near future.
According to Coker and matchmaker Javier Mendez, the hunt is still on for Gilbert Melendez and Cristiane “Cyborg” Santos’ opponents. Japanese standout Mitsuhiro Ishida is “definitely a name that’s been tossed around” for Melendez, though nothing has been confirmed. Mendez mentioned a potential opponent for Santos, but said he would need the approval of the California State Athletic Commission before confirming the bout.
Half of the main card bouts have been fleshed out, however, as well as several undercard bouts.
Strikeforce, April 11, Main Card Bouts (Bout order not confirmed):
-Frank Shamrock vs. Nick Diaz
-Josh Thomson vs. TBA
-Scott Smith vs. Benji Radach
-Jake Shields vs. Joe Riggs
-Gilbert Melendez vs. TBA
-Cristiane “Cyborg” Santos vs. TBA
Strikeforce, April 11, Undercard Bouts (Bout order not confirmed):
-Raul Castillo vs. TBA
-Eric Lawson vs. Richard Montoya
-Luke Rockhold vs. TBA
-James Terry vs. Zak Bucia
-Jeremy Tavares vs. TBA-
-Marcus Royster vs. Yohan Banks
Mendez also released three undercard bouts for a show tentatively planned for May in Tacoma, Wash.:
-Mike Aina vs. Billy Evangelista
-Torrance Taylor vs. Lyle Beerbohm
-Bao Quach vs. JC Pennington
For May’s main card, Robbie Lawler has been confirmed to participate, but an opponent has not yet been found. Former EliteXC standout Rafael “Feijao” Cavalcante has agreed to face Renato “Babalu” Sobral, but Mendez said negotiations had yet to commence with the Strikeforce light heavyweight champion.
On Tuesday evening, Coker told MMAWeekly.com he believed Gina Carano would likely be making her post-EliteXC debut in May, though he was to meet with her representatives this week to confirm which show she’d be ready for.
Coker confirmed that dialogue with Kevin “Kimbo Slice” Ferguson’s representatives remains ongoing, and said “ancillary” items of his contract like scheduling and opponents are being negotiated. He shed no further light on a rumored bout between Ferguson and Bob Sapp that had been bandied about for May.
Mendez also released a list of female talent acquired in the purchase of ProElite assets.
Confirmed to fight in Strikeforce:
Conspicuously missing was Kaitlin Young, the Minnesota Mixed Martial Arts prospect, who was defeated by Carano in a controversial stoppage at EliteXC’s first CBS televised event. Mendez said Strikeforce opted not to acquire Young out of a desire to develop lesser-seen fighters.
“We want to build up new talent,” he said.