Posted on: June 6, 2009 11:10 pm
Edited on: June 7, 2009 12:46 am

Gina Carano vs. Cris Cyborg official for 8/15

One of the most anticipated MMA fights of the past year is finally signed and scheduled.

On Showtime Saturday night, they officially announced Gina Carano vs. Cris "Cyborg" Santos for Strikeforce's Aug. 15 event, to be broadcast on Showtime.

Also signed for that event: The long-awaited rematch for the Strikeforce lightweight title, as champion Josh Thomson battles former champ Gilbert Melendez .

It will be very interesting to see what kind of ratings Carano vs. Cyborg pulls in, and also to see what kind of fighting shape Carano is in after a 10-month layoff.

In addition, Strikeforce heavyweight champion Alistair Overeem was announced as fighting on the 8/15 show with no opponent named at this time. His opponent may depend on the result of Arlovski vs. Rogers, and how banged up the winner of that fight is.

UPDATE: Brett Rogers knocked out Andrei Arlovski in 22 seconds, and didn't appear to have a scratch on him afterward.

Posted on: June 6, 2009 9:55 pm

Strikeforce live blog: Undercard results

Welcome to tonight's live blog of Strikeforce: Lawler vs. Shields. Be sure to refresh the main blog page frequently for round-by-round updates from all of tonight's main fights. Please note that each fight will be its own blog entry.

We'll be back in a few minutes with the first main card bout from St. Louis. In the meantime, here are the quick and dirty undercard results (potential spoilers here, since they could air one or more of these fights on Showtime if they have time to fill):

Pat Benson defeated Dave Cochran via submission to an armbar at 2:18 of Round 1.
Lucas Lopes defeated Scott Ventimiglia via DQ due to an illegal knee at 3:26 of Round 1.
Tyron Woodley defeated Sal Woods via submission to an anaconda choke at 4:20 of Round 1.
Booker DeRousse defeated James Wade via TKO due to strikes at 4:06 of Round 1.
Mike Kyle defeated Rafael "Feijao" Cavalcante via TKO due to strikes at 4:05 of Round 2.
Jesse Finney defeated Josh Bumgarner via submission to a kimura at 1:55 of Round 1.
Posted on: May 20, 2009 4:26 pm
Edited on: May 21, 2009 2:42 am

Arlovski vs. Rogers inked for Strikeforce on 6/6

Strikeforce announced on Tuesday that a heavyweight bout between Brett "The Grim" Rogers and former UFC heavyweight champion Andrei "The Pitbull" Arlovski has been added to the card for the promotion's June 6 card in St. Louis, Mo.

The show will be the third Strikeforce event to air live in the U.S. on premium cable network Showtime.

Considered one of the top heavyweights in the world, Arlovski (15-6-0) last fought on Jan. 24, when he lost to Fedor Emelianenko via KO in the first round on Affliction and M-1's Day of Reckoning pay-per-view. Prior to the loss to Emelianenko, Arlovski had won five straight fights spanning from the end of his UFC stint to his signing on with Affliction.

Undefeated in his MMA career, Rogers (9-0-0) gained attention in 2008 with a pair of decisive knockout victories in EliteXC. He finished off James Thompson in 2:24 in February 2008, and followed that performance with a 1:01 KO over Jon Murphy in the first fight ever broadcast on live network television, during the first CBS Saturday Night Fights event on May 31, 2008.

Making the jump to Strikeforce this year, Rogers defeated Ron "Abongo" Humphrey via TKO due to knees in 1:38 of Round 2, marking the first time in Rogers' career that he had been taken beyond the first round by an opponent.

Arlovski vs. Rogers will air on the undercard of the Strikeforce show headlined by Nick Diaz vs. Scott Smith at a catchweight of 180 pounds. The show airs June 6 on Showtime, beginning at 10 p.m. ET.

Posted on: April 2, 2009 12:19 am

Thomson breaks leg, fight vs. Melendez off

Strikeforce announced on Wednesday night that lightweight champion Josh Thomson has been forced out of his April 11 title defense against Gilbert Melendez due to a broken leg.

The bout was part of the undercard for Strikeforce's show at the HP Pavilion in San Jose, Calif., which will air on Showtime with a main event pitting Frank Shamrock vs. Nick Diaz.

Thomson reportedly broke his left leg on Wednesday during a sparring session, and will undergo surgery on Friday. Strikeforce is searching for a replacement opponent for Melendez.

"I was sparring hard and I broke my leg, above my ankle, during an exchange," Thomson said via a press release issued by Strikeforce and Showtime on Wednesday. He was sparring with fellow Strikeforce fighter Billy Evangelista at the time of the injury.

"I'm very upset.  All the hard work was done and it was time to fight," said the injured champ.  "I was looking forward to putting on a great show for the fans.  All I can say is that I'll be back when I get healthy."


Posted on: February 10, 2009 3:18 pm
Edited on: February 10, 2009 3:44 pm

Shamrock vs. Diaz signed for April 11 on Showtime


Frank Shamrock Frank Shamrock will headline the Strikeforce debut event on Showtime on April 11, fighting fellow Californian Nick Diaz in San Jose, Calif.

The main event bout was announced during a joint conference call by Strikeforce and Showtime on Tuesday.

The bout will be Shamrock's first since a March 29, 2008, TKO loss to Cung Le which cost him the Strikeforce middleweight championship. Diaz last competed on CBS EliteXC Saturday Night Fights on July 26, TKOing Thomas "Wildman" Denny in Round 2 in front of his hometown fans in Stockton, Calif.

Shamrock has recently competed as a 185-pound middleweight, while Diaz has fought at the EliteXC lightweight limit of 160. Shamrock vs. Diaz will be contested at an agreed-upon catch weight of 179 pounds.

"He's a guy who throws, and talks trash, and on April 11, I'm gonna knock him out," Shamrock said.

When asked about the often-discussed possibility of fighting his brother Ken in the future, Shamrock did not rule it out, but said that Ken is working through some personal problems right now.

"I think it's important that I kick his ass, but right now, that's on the backburner," Shamrock said.

Strikeforce acquired select assets and fighter contracts from Pro Elite last week, shortly before announcing the new television deal with Strikeforce. The deal also includes the option for CBS to run Strikeforce programming on the network.

After the final EliteXC event on CBS on Oct. 4, the hottest fight on the horizon involved female fighters Gina Carano and Cristiane "Cyborg" Santos. During the call, it was noted that Santos is available for April 11, and that they will be extending an offer to Carano to fight her on the Showtime telecast. If Carano is not available for that date, Santos may be offered a different opponent for the show.

One of the fighters believed to be on the list of acquisitions by Strikeforce is Kevin "Kimbo Slice" Ferguson, who turned heads in 2008 by headlining numerous EliteXC shows despite being a rookie in MMA. Showtime senior vice president and general manager of sports and event programming Ken Hershman said the process of contacting each fighter and finalizing each deal is taking some time, but Kimbo Slice is on their wish list.

"Kimbo is one that we think we have a future with," Hershman said.

Gilbert Melendez was mentioned as an expected fighter on the April 11 show, with Jorge Gurgel and Mitsuhiro Ishida discussed as potential opponents. Benji Radach vs. Scott Smith was also confirmed for the show. Strikeforce promoter Scott Coker said middleweight champion Cung Le is available on April 11, but unable to fight due to an elbow injury.

Posted on: February 6, 2009 4:28 pm

CBS has option to air Strikeforce events

In addition to the recently announced deal for Showtime to air up to 16 Strikeforce MMA events per year, CBSSports.com has confirmed that Strikeforce could eventually air on the CBS network as well.

However, Showtime will be the primary broadcast outlet for Strikeforce, which acquired key assets of Pro Elite -- including many fighter contracts and the EliteXC video library -- in a deal announced on Thursday .

"We have an option to broadcast Strikeforce events on CBS, but the plan is for Showtime to be the main outlet," said Chris Ender, spokesman for CBS Corporation, which owns both CBS and Showtime.

CBS became the first major network to broadcast a live MMA event in 2008, with Kimbo Slice, Gina Carano, Robbie Lawler and Jake Shields among the many fighters who saw increased exposure due to the shows. While details are still sketchy -- and in some cases, perhaps still being worked out behind the scenes -- it is believed that Slice, Carano, Lawler and Shields are among the former EliteXC fighters already on board with Strikeforce.

Showtime announced on Thursday that the first Strikeforce event to air on the premium cable network as part of the new deal would be on April 11, emanating from San Jose, Calif.


Posted on: February 5, 2009 9:03 pm

Strikeforce snags Pro Elite assets, Showtime deal


Strikeforce announced on Thursday that it has acquired the rights to select assets of Pro Elite, the parent company of EliteXC. From the official Strikeforce press release:

LOS ANGELES, CA. -- In a transaction signaling the dawn of a new era in the world's fastest growing sport, world championship mixed martial arts (MMA) organization Strikeforce, has acquired certain fighter contracts from ProElite, Inc, the parent company of former Strikeforce co-promoter, Elite Xtreme Combat (EliteXC).

Strikeforce also acquired other specific assets of ProElite, including a library of EliteXC events, which were distributed live on either CBS or Showtime Networks.

"This is a tremendous development that will bolster the Strikeforce roster and allow us to produce even more competitive matchups between top fighters," said Scott Coker, Founder and CEO of Strikeforce. "Some of these athletes have been on the sidelines for a while now and are eagerly waiting to return to competition. We look forward to providing them with the opportunity to do so in the next few months."

As part of the deal, Strikeforce has acquired some -- but not all -- of the contracts for fighters previously signed to EliteXC. Citing Coker as his source, Dave Meltzer of Yahoo! Sports reported today that the list of fighters now contracted to Strikeforce includes Kimbo Slice, Gina Carano, EliteXC middleweight champion Robbie Lawler, EliteXC welterweight champion Jake Shields, Nick Diaz, Eddie Alvarez, Scott Smith, Benji Radach and others.

Shortly after the news broke about Strikeforce's acquisition of Pro Elite assets, Showtime Networks Inc. issued a statement of its own, revealing that Showtime Sports will produce and televise up to 16 live Strikeforce events per year, beginning with an April 11 event in San Jose, Calif. While a lineup has yet to be formally announced for that event, reports have circulated that pinpoint Frank Shamrock as a potential headliner, with Smith vs. Radach on the undercard.

The breakdown of the Strikeforce events on Showtime would be similar to the former EliteXC/ShoXC format, with about half of the events showcasing young, up-and-coming talent and the rest featuring more well-known fighters and championship bouts.


Posted on: October 21, 2008 10:27 am

Reports: EliteXC files bankruptcy, closes doors

EliteXC and Pro Elite appear to be finished, according to multiple reports that surfaced beginning on Monday evening.

Loretta Hunt of Sherdog.com reported that EliteXC fighter Joey Villasenor was notified Monday that his middleweight title bout against Robbie Lawler slated for Nov. 8 on Showtime was off, due to the event being cancelled. Hunt further reported that Icon Sport and Pro Elite executive TJ Thompson said he learned on Monday morning that the company had already filed bankruptcy paperwork and would cease operations entirely by the end of this week.

EliteXC fighter, color commentator and shareholder Frank Shamrock was quote by Dave Meltzer of Yahoo! Sports as saying he'd also heard the news.

“I got a call earlier (Monday) telling me they were shutting down,” Shamrock said. Meltzer added that the representatives of numerous EliteXC fighters had already been in contact with the UFC on Monday in hopes of finding a place for those fighters in that promotion.

EliteXC/Pro Elite has yet to comment publicly on the reports. Neither CBS -- which broadcast three EliteXC events, most recently the Kimbo Slice vs. Seth Petruzelli upset on Oct. 4 -- nor Showtime, which had a show scheduled for Nov. 8 entitled "Night of Champions," have made a public statement.
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com