In the aftermath of Strikeforce middleweight champion Jake Shields leaving the organization, Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker has decided that he will put on an eight-man tournament to find the promotions next middleweight champion.
The good news about the tournament is that it will bring K-1, and Dream veteran Melvin Manhoef. The bad news is Coker told MMAJunkie.com that former middleweight champion Cung Le will not be participating, and will be sticking to “superfights.”
Manhoef is coming off a first round KO over former EliteXC middleweight champ Robbie Lawler at Strikeforce Miami. Manhoef’s next battle is scheduled for July 10 at Dream.15.
Also announced to be part of the middleweight tournament, Robbie Lawler, Tim Kennedy, Dan Henderson, Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza and Jason “Mayhem” Miller. Also, the winner of an upcoming World Victory Road Sengoku bout between champ Jorge Santiago, Kazuo Misaki is under consideration for the field.
Coker also said previously that he would like welterweight champion Nick Diaz to be part of the tournament, but may be unable to participate due to the three month suspension following the Strikeforce: Nashville brawl. If so this may also effect Jason Miller from taking part in the tournament.
Dates and venues for the event are yet to be announced. We will keep you updated as information comes out.