Photo by Jon Swenson. Used with permission.
Continuing with the trend of big announcements, Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker recently announced that Strikeforce is expected to announce a strategic alliance with DREAM.
Coker has a longstanding relationship with Fight Entertainment Group promoter Kazuyoshi Ishii as Coker used to handle the U.S. side of K-1 kickboxing.
In an interview with MMAWeekly.com, Coker said, “At the beginning o this MMA relationship, we had talked about having DREAM fighters come over, and our fighters go over there, and having this relationship, well, we all got busy and we never really had the opportunity when they waned Jake Shields to fight over there and when we wanted Shinya Aoki, he was scheduled to fight. Now we’re going to be able to put those dream fights together.”
According to the report, Coker was excited of the prospects of Fedor Emelianenko vs. Sergei Kharitonov, Robbie Lawler vs. Melvin Manhoef, and the U.S. debut of DREAM lightweight ace Shinya Aoki.
“I think it’s important, because as a fan, I think they’re going to get some amazing fights that would not happen if the alliance wasn’t created.”
The timing of the deal is interesting as Strikeforce recently announced the acquisition of former PRIDE heavyweight champion Fedor Emelianenko. Strikeforce really only had three formidable opponents for Fedor, that being Alistiar Overeem, Brett Rogers, and Fabricio Werdum. This deal will open up the possibility of bouts with Kharitonov, Antonio Silva, Jeff Monson, and Josh Barnett.