Strikeforce’s Scott Coker: Monday Hangover

You gotta feel for Strikeforce’s Scott Coker: Making his way heading up Strikeforce, signing and developing talent, got the Showtime deal… then Zuffa comes along. Wants to buy the organization. Great news, right? Money all around.

Only Zuffa snatches away your heavyweight division and a good amount of your talent. Everyone assumes you’ll become a feeder league for the UFC. Sure, you get to run Strikeforce, at least publicly, but everyone suspects you’re taking orders from the Zuffa office.

So when Coker announced that striker Lorenz Larkin gets the title shot in Oklahoma in November against Luke Rockhold instead of Jacare Souza, after publicly saying he thought Jacare would get the match, the calls of “Zuffa Puppet” predictably started coming.

Coker’s got to promote the fight, so he talks about Lorenz’ amazing striking, calling him the best striker in MMA today, and notes that he’s had a stretch where he’s been undefeated at 205, except when King Mo dominated him but tested positive for banned substances after…

Meanwhile, Jacare waits. It’s been a year since Rockhold took the belt from him. In that time, Souza’s performed well, winning convincingly over his latest opponent, Derek Brunson, getting the TKO just 41 seconds into the fight.

Coker’s in a bad spot. Jacare-Rockhold was the fight. Everybody knows it. But he’s gotta promote Rockhold-Larkin. And endure the slings and arrows of the very active, very vocal, very knowledgeable MMA fans…

And that gives him this week’s Monday Hangover.