Strikeforce has crafted a reputation for putting on solid cards that elevate them from the “second tier” perception that some promotions suffer from. Unfortunately, the production and commentary continually sends their events crashing to the second rate canvas but the talent will still be there inside the cage on August 15th due to late replacements and newly announced bouts.
The past couple of weeks have proved to be tumultuous for both Strikeforce and Affliction with the demise of the later-mentioned promotion and subsequent return to sponsoring the former’s competitor (UFC). Originally slated to be a night of champions, that changed drastically when several title fights bit the dust in recent days. The following blows put the “Carano vs. Cyborg” event in danger of being a major draw.
– Joe Riggs hospitalized for adverse drug reaction, pulls out of welterweight title fight against Nick Diaz
UPDATE: Jay Heiron will fight Nick Diaz for the welterweight title
– Heavyweight champ Alistair Overeem reports hand injury will keep him from facing Fabricio Werdum
Update: Fabricio Werdum will fight Mike Kyle, in a non-title bout
– Josh Thomson’s leg not fully healed, makes lightweight title bout with Gilbert Melendez uncertain
Update: Josh Thomson replaced by Mitsuhiro Ishida, in an interim title bout
There are upsides to Affliction’s downfall though, for Strikeforce. Former Affliction fighter and current Strikeforce light heavyweight champ Renato “Babalu” Sobral will now face Gegard Mousasi – the man he had been training for leading up to the canceled “Trilogy” show. Sobral is fan favorite and the match with Mousasi (DREAM GP champ) brings healimng power back to a damaged card.
It also being rumored confirmed that Extreme Couture fighter Jay Heiron will be stepping in for absent Joe Riggs, to fight Nick Diaz for the vacant Strikeforce welterweight title.
We can only hope the main event does not suffer the same fate as some of the other “afflicted” fights.