Next Strikeforce Expected in 1st Quarter 2009

MMAInsider recently caught up with Strikeforce executive Mike Afromowitz to check in on the promotion’s plans for 2009.

A rumored match-up between Duane “Bang” Ludwig and Phil Baroni at welterweight is currently in the San Jose-based promotion’s sights. Afromowitz said the date and details are currently being ironed out, but said it’s “definitely a fight we’d like to put together.”

Apparently, the wave of Japanese fighters that graced the promotion in late 2008 are MIA. Asked whether a long-rumored meeting between Josh Thomson and Caol Uno would ever materialize, Afromowitz responded, “I don’t know.” The promotion hopes to bring back fighters Mitsuhiro Ishida and Kazuo Misaki in 2009, but needs to ink the date for their next card before lining up talent.

Speaking of the next card, Afromowitz said the promotion will be in San Jose in “the first quarter of 2009,” and may feature the return of Cung Le. Le is currently knee-deep in a film career, taking meetings in Los Angeles for a variety of film projects. Word on the street is that Le was extremely impressive in a recent project entitled “Pandorum,” currently in post production and co-starring Ben Foster and Dennis Quaid.

Afromowitz said he’s also more than willing to bring Kim Couture back to the promotion. Despite internet criticism at the one-sided outcome of her fight with Lina Kvokov, Afromowitz defended the decision to bring Couture in and said it was not a favor to Andrew Simon of HDNet Fights.

“Kim is obviously very marketable, because her husband is one of the most accomplished fighters in the history of MMA,” Afromowitz said. “So we figured we’d give it a shot because she’d been training with a guy we promoted for years, Ray Sefo. We want to bring in marketable women. You don’t get anywhere unless you take chances; a certain kind of chances.”