SAN DIEGO – A fight between Strikeforce light heavyweight champion Dan Henderson
and former Pride heavyweight champion Fedor Emelianenko
is being targeted for July or August of 2011, Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker said, but is still not yet confirmed.
"The date, I would say, is probably late summer," Coker said after Saturday night's Strikeforce: Diaz vs. Daley
event. "Some things are still being negotiated."
The main sticking point, it seems, is the weight that the fight will be contested at. As first reported by SI.com
, the two camps seem to be debating either a catchweight bout or a heavyweight fight. The possibility of meeting at the 205-pound light heavyweight limit was quickly ruled out by Emelianenko's camp, according to Coker.
"We asked Fedor if he'd come down to 205 [pounds], and that didn't come to a good result," said Coker. "So, you know, we're going to keep pushing and hopefully have something to announce in the next two weeks or so. Right now, the fight's not made yet. Sometimes it's the little things – and I don't want to get into the contract negotiations – but it's the little things where somebody wants this, somebody wants that."
Emelianenko had publicly contemplated retirement after being defeated by Antonio Silva
in the first round of the Strikeforce heavyweight Grand Prix in February, but is now said to be ready to return to action.
Though Strikeforce is now owned by Zuffa, the parent company to the UFC – and though Emelianenko's M-1 Global management team has had a strained relationship with the UFC in the past – Coker said there is no contractual impediment to making an Emelianenko-Henderson fight happen under the Zuffa banner.
"The contract's already in place. We have a multi-fight contract with Fedor, which will continue. He will fight in July or August some time. So that's going to continue. The contract thing, it's just the details now."