Scott Coker Expects to Book Fedor vs. Overeem-Werdum Loser

By Michael David Smith

Two days after Fedor Emelianenko suffered his second consecutive loss and said in his post-fight interview that it might be time to walk away, Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker said he expects Fedor to return rather than retire.

And Coker already has an opponent for Fedor in mind: The loser of the April 9 bout between Alistair Overeem and Fabricio Werdum.

“If the fighter doesn’t want to fight you’re not gonna want him to fight,” Coker told Ariel Helwani on The MMA Hour. “If the fighter doesn’t want to fight the promoter doesn’t make him fight. And if he wants to retire then it’s time to walk away. But I don’t think that’s the case … and I think the loser of Overeem and Werdum, that would be a great fight for Fedor.”

A Fedor-Werdum rematch has been discussed since the night in June when Werdum shocked the MMA world and submitted Fedor. And a Fedor-Overeem fight has been viewed since Fedor first signed with the promotion as the biggest fight Strikeforce could put together. So it’s easy to see why Strikeforce would be eager to book either of those bouts.

But there are questions about how that would work, and those questions go beyond whether Fedor wants to fight anymore. One thing that’s not clear is whether an Overeem-Fedor fight would be for Overeem’s Strikeforce heavyweight title. The Overeem-Werdum tournament fight is a non-title match, which means that Overeem would still be the champion if he loses to Werdum. Coker has previously said that if Overeem didn’t win the tournament, it would be the tournament winner who would fight Overeem for the Strikeforce heavyweight title. Coker may have changed his mind now that Fedor has been bounced out of the tournament.

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