Strikeforce and DREAM will announce a partnership on Wednesday that could see an exchange of fighters between the two promotions.
Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker
revealed Monday night in a radio appearance on The Carmichael Dave Show
that the No. 2 MMA promotion in America will enter into an "alliance" with Fighting Entertainment Group, the parent company of the No. 1 MMA promotion in Japan.
FanHouse has received confirmation from Strikeforce that the announcement will be made Wednesday afternoon.
The partnership could open up new possibilities for the recently-signed Fedor Emelianenko
, who had seemingly only Alistair Overeem, Brett Rogers and Fabricio Werdum as opponents in Strikeforce. Fedor could also find himself fighting in Japan after his fall Strikeforce on Showtime date. The former PRIDE heavyweight champ is well-loved in the country and from 2003-2007 took pride in a tradition to compete every New Year's Eve in Japan's annual blockbuster year-end show.
"We've talked about [the partnership] for a long time," Coker said on the Northern California sports program. "It's finally going to happen now so maybe [Sergei] Kharitonov could fight Fedor at some point."
Besides more options for Fedor, there's an entire pool of new opponents for each promotion that could also give a clearer understanding to the world rankings outside of the UFC.
The current champions and direct title contenders under DREAM are Joachim Hansen (lightweight champion), Shinya Aoki, Marius Zaromskis (welterweight champion), Ronaldo "Jacare" Souza, Jason "Mayhem" Miller, Bibiano Fernandes, Joe Warren, Hiroyuki Takaya and Hideo Tokoro.
Meanwhile, the champions with Strikeforce are Alistair Overeem (heavyweight), Renato "Babalu" Sobral (light heavyweight), Cung Le (middleweight), Josh Thomson (lightweight), Gilbert Melendez (interim lightweight) and the Aug. 15 winner of Nick Diaz vs. Jay Hieron.
The two promotions already share the services of former DREAM middleweight champion and current No. 1 Strikeforce light heavyweight title contender Gegard Mousasi, who also happens to be under contract with Fedor's management, M-1 Global.
Coker added that more details on Fedor's future, including the date and opponent, could be announced as early as Thursday.