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Strikeforce Moving Forward with Plans for 185lb. Tournament

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From Loretta Hunt:

Strikeforce is moving forward with plans to launch an eight-man, two-night middleweight tournament at a Showtime-televised event in October, said CEO Scott Coker on Wednesday.

Coker said recent reports that the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation had rejected Strikeforce's request to hold a four-man tournament on Aug. 21 -- thus forcing the promotion to move to a single championship bout -- weren't correct.

As reported by Sherdog.com throughout June, Coker said the promotion always had its eye on hosting both a championship bout and a tournament from the start.

"We always felt that crowning a champion would be the first priority," said Coker. "We will host a tournament in October. It looks like the first round will take place then, which will lead to the final four in December."

Coker said the promotion has initial plans to run the semi-finals and finals in one evening this December.

California is a possibility for one or both events, said Coker; the California State Athletic Commission regulated a four-man, one-night tournament with Strikeforce in 2007.

In Texas, Coker said he only inquired about the tournament format with the commission, but was told it wouldn't be allowed.

Ronaldo "Jacare" Souza (12-2) is currently set to face Tim Kennedy (12-2) on August 21 for the Strikeforce middleweight title left vacant by Jake Shields.

If they can fill out the tournament with some of their bigger "name" fighters such as Dan Henderson, Nick Diaz, and Mayhem Miller, with Luke Rockhold thrown in for potential and Melvin Manhoef thrown in for excitement, it has potential to be the best business move they've yet made. Also, with Herschel Walker declaring his intention to fight again this fall, it'd be the perfect card to attach his name to and bring attention to the tournament. Let's hope they don't mess this up.