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« | Home | »

Scott Coker is learning what making (first) impressions are all about

By Zach Arnold | January 31, 2011

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(Josh Gross photo of Scott Coker shaking hands with Sotaro Shinoda)

Rarely do you get a string of small stories that come together to put together a narrative in the MMA industry, but this is one of those times where it’s there, hanging like fruit from a tree to get picked.

To my astonishment over the weekend, Strikeforce boss Scott Coker on multiple occasions told the US press in attendance in San Jose that he was having dinner with Sotaro Shinoda to negotiate bringing a Strikeforce show to Japan under DREAM auspices for April 9th. I chose the word astonishment because not one US media type blinked at all when Shinoda appeared in town, let alone had his name publicly mentioned by Strikeforce. Why? Sotaro Shinoda was Nobuyuki Sakakibara’s right-hand man in PRIDE. PRIDE, of course, had the Shukan Gendai yakuza scandal that resulted in Fuji TV cutting ties from the organization and ultimately led to the company’s demise. Suffice to say, you can see how ex-PRIDE employees under the DREAM banner could make things difficult in terms of attracting potentially big sponsors or television deals in the country.

If you need a reminder of who Mr. Shinoda is, type his name into Google and you’ll see this entry at the top of the search engine. It was an old screen capture we did of him several years ago when he had a last-minute trip to Costa Rica for a Bodogfight TV taping. Read the old post to get a flavor of what Bodog thought of him. (Shinoda was in Costa Rica to try to find out what was going on with M-1/Red Devil and Fedor.)

In response to me bringing up the obvious (implications) about Scott Coker publicly being seen with Sotaro Shinoda, the initial reaction I got from various writers was a shrug and, to paraphrase, “Well, Scott doesn’t think it’ll hurt him, obviously. Why does he care about it when Showtime is his TV partner and not the Japanese networks?”

So, let me bring up the obvious link to our extensive archives and years of coverage from start to finish about PRIDE’s collapse. You’re welcome. As Fuji TV demonstrated in 2006, you can have a hot product that draws lots of money and big TV ratings and still completely cut the cord when there is stockholder pressure due to who you are associated with and what the media points out in regards to those associations.

Am I saying that Nobuyuki Sakakibara is still involved in MMA? No, he’s off somewhere in Okinawa goofily trying to run a soccer club and live out a fantasy. What I am saying is that when you deal with top management that was involved in a company that got labeled ‘yakuza’ in the media by various outlets (like Shukan Gendai) and ended up losing funding from such a media powerhouse like Fuji TV, it’s pretty hard to remove that taint. Who you associate with, especially when entering into a new market, matters in Japan. Just ask Jamie Pollack and UFC about it when they tried to run the PRIDE office after the asset sale purchase.

In other words, who you are seen with and who you deal with is of the utmost importance in Japan. I wrote about Strikeforce’s high-risk, high-reward plan to try to do business in Japan. A healthy part of that risk is being judicious in how you handle your business affairs. Mr. Coker would be wise to smarten up quickly.

Riddle me this — why don’t you see Mr. Shinoda much publicly in the Japanese media circles? When it’s a DREAM announcement, PRIDE’s version of Baghdad Bob in Mr. Sasahara is trotted out to the cameras (occasionally alongside Shigeru Saeki). When it’s a more serious K-1/DREAM news presser, it’s Mr. Sasahara and Mr. Tanigawa who are in front of the camera.

Here is what Mr. Coker said after his HP Pavilion show Saturday night in regards to booking fights in Japan:

TJ DE SANTIS: “You mentioned Japan. Is that a destination you think Strikeforce will get to?”

SCOTT COKER: “Yes. I have Shinoda-san over there waiting. We’re going to have dinner and talking about trying to get Strikeforce into Japan this year.”

TJ DE SANTIS: “What was the catalyst for making that discussion happen?”

SCOTT COKER: “I mean, you know, you guys know that I worked for K-1 for many years, for eight years and I always had a great respect for Japanese fight fans and, you know, it’s ingrained in the culture. I mean, when you grow up in Japan you’re doing martial arts, you know, and so it’s integrated into the culture and it’s just an amazing place to go watch fights and they’re educated fight fans and I said I wanted to go to Japan for 2-3 years and for it to finally become something that’s possible, it’ll be a milestone for our league.”

TJ DE SANTIS: “I’ve heard some rumblings of possibly having a Lightweight tournament over there. Is that something that you’re thinking about?”

SCOTT COKER: “That’s something that we’re going to talk about because I know that they would like to have a tournament and if they do we’ll support them and send over some of our top guys, but it’s premature. We haven’t had that conversation, yet.”

By the way, as someone who’s bread and butter has been focused on the Japanese fight scene for most of my life, you might be interested in reading about this timely article. If you thought things were hard right now in fields like Sumo and pro-wrestling, try this on for size.

So, there’s that situation in Japan. Our next situation(s), if you want to call them that, deal with two fighters. Now, dealing with fighters is like herding cattle and we all know that there’s a lot of pettiness and jealousy that goes on. However, as we’ve seen with the UFC, if fighters don’t respect or fear you, they won’t act out of turn. Time and again with Strikeforce, we’ve often seen the opposite. See: Nick Diaz being unhappy last week on a Showtime conference call, talking about ’still’ driving a Honda and why he’s not fighting guys like Georges St. Pierre. Remember when Strikeforce got suckered into a media war with Bellator about why a fight between Gilbert Melendez and Eddie Alvarez hasn’t been booked? That started with the two fighters calling each other out.

Gilbert is back, this time saying don’t blame him for not being able to fight… Frankie Edgar, UFC Lightweight champion.

KENNY RICE: “Gilbert, A, B, C, D. Let’s go all the way down. What’s the deal with Strikeforce right now? How many fights left?”

GILBERT MELENDEZ: “The deal with Strikeforce is, um, we’re coming to an agreement right now, you know, and I’ll think there’ll be a couple of fights for me for Strikeforce, so… Right now it’s not a matter of, you know, who I fight. It’s a matter of just when I fight. They have a bunch of contenders, you know, Justin Wilcox now, (Lyle) Beerbohm, (Billy) Evangelista, Josh Thomson, JZ (Calvan), so I’m basically just having to defend my throne, you know what I mean. It doesn’t matter who, it’s just when and that’s my plans for now and hopefully we’ll have something in the next cuople of months or the next, you know, maybe couple of weeks, you know, an exact date and an opponent.”

KENNY RICE: “Are you a free agent right now technically?”

GILBERT MELENDEZ: “Technically, no, I’m not, man. Some of these agreements are structured really well, you know, with the Championship Clause and all and you know I’m proud to be a part of Strikeforce and everything, but as a champion this comes along with it. It’s not that easy to walk away with your title and, you know, Jake’s one of the few guys who has and stuff but it’s not an easy thing to do.”

BAS RUTTEN: “Are you allowed to fight in Japan?”

GILBERT MELENDEZ: “Yeah, I’m definitely, well under Strikeforce’s permission I am, yeah. It’s something that I would love to do. I love fighting in Japan and that’s neat, you know. It’s kind of up to the promotions, you know what I mean? I want to fight all these guys, you know, I want to fight all these dudes, but it’s not up to these, us fighters. It’s really up to the promoters. If you want to see me fight Frankie (Edgar), talk to Dana (White) & Scott (Coker). So don’t blame us fighters. I’m just fighting, trying to get my money, and I’m where I’m at.”

A second fighter voicing displeasure, albeit on a larger vocal scale, is Siyar Bahadurzada. He talked with MMA writer Tomas Rios about his situation with Strikeforce. Suffice to say, his words were not very kind to the promotion. Rios claimed that when he tried to get a comment from Strikeforce PR man Mike Afromowitz on the story, Mr. Afromowitz allegedly told Rios that he (Rios) wasn’t good for the sport. So, he and Joe Rogan have something in common apparently.

Here was Mr. Coker’s response (via an interview with Ariel Helwani) on Bahadurzada’s comments:

ARIEL HELWANI: “Wanted to get your take on a situation that’s been brewing with a fighter by the name of Siyar Baha. He’s been saying something things about Strikeforce, now saying that the reason he hasn’t fought for Strikeforce is because he’s of Afghani descent. How do you respond to this?”

SCOTT COKER: “That’s comical. I mean the reality was that, you know, I still don’t even his visa has been finished yet. It has been a little tougher because, you know, the country and everything to try to get a visa but I don’t think the visa has been completed, so once he gets through his process of getting his visa together then you know we’re have another conversation with him but it’s silly to say it’s based on this or that. I mean, the reality is, you’re a Golden Glory fighter, he should act like a Golden Glory fighter and, you know, get your paperwork done, get what you got to do, and then we’ll put you in the cage and test you out. But in the mean time, you know, talking the way he did, it just was very silly to me.”

ARIEL HELWANI: “Has that perhaps severed your relationship with him?”

SCOTT COKER: “With Siyar?”

ARIEL HELWANI: “Yeah.”

SCOTT COKER: “Uh, no.”

ARIEL HELWANI: “The things he said about the organization.”

SCOTT COKER: “The relationship is with the camp, it’s not with the fighter. To me, Bas and I have done many business deals together and, you know, we have Alistair (Overeem), we have (Sergei) Kharitonov here, we have Marloes Coenen here, so we have a good relationship with the camp. So he’s one of the fighters in their camp. When he gets his act together, we’ll put him in the cage.”

ARIEL HELWANI: “What are the chances that we see him in the Strikeforce cage in 2011?”

SCOTT COKER: “You know what, I uh… I would say… you know, once he gets his visa stuff done…”

ARIEL HELWANI: “You’d like to see him fight for Strikeforce, right?”

SCOTT COKER: “Sure, why not? Why not? I mean, you know, I can understand his frustration because he doesn’t understand because he’s so far away and, you know, whatever but in saying that, though, Ariel, he also has to act like a professional. If he can’t, we’re not going to have him.”

Everything should go smoothly in 2011, shouldn’t it? ‘Keyboard warriors’ aren’t ‘good for the sport.’

Topics: All Topics, DREAM, Japan, MMA, Media, StrikeForce, Zach Arnold | 43 Comments » | Permalink | Trackback |

43 Responses to “Scott Coker is learning what making (first) impressions are all about”

  1. 45 Huddle says:

    1) Gilbert Melendez sounds like a guy with 6 kids stuck in a loveless marriage with no way out….. I would almost feel bad for him EXCEPT he was dumb enough to sign that contract to begin with. Why on earth would anybody sign a championship clause with a company that doesn’t pay the most in the sport? His management should be ashamed of the bad job they have done for him. Do they have ANY ability to plan for the future?

    2) Is there enough time to plan a Japanese card right now for April? And if they can’t, is Barnett out of the tournament?

    3) Strikeforce is out of challengers for Melendez. Only have Daley left for Diaz. Are out of challengers for Souza. Not too interesting right now.

    4) Marcus Davis is claiming that SF has a “Don’t sign UFC rejects” policy currently in effect. Interesting.

    5) Strikeforce, despite people in the MMA bubble thinking they are hitting home runs….. Are running in circles right now. Gates and ratings are staying the same and showing no real improvements. Heck, the UFC has plateaued lately but at least it’s high up enough to sustain a strong business. SF is really the new WEC forthe hardcore fans…. Which is a good and bad thing. Good because the people who watch it love it for what it is. Bad because the WEC, even with the Zuffa machine behind it, could never gain an ounce of traction with the general audience.

    Zach….. Honestly, what do you think the chances of SF being successful in Japan long term?

    • Zach Arnold says:

      Zach….. Honestly, what do you think the chances of SF being successful in Japan long term?

      Skeptical long-term.

      Interestingly enough, I’m hearing that UFC is starting to, shall we say, ‘learn’ what the situation in Japan is and that legitimate sponsorship is being looked at. As in, something that the ex-PRIDE people are magically having a hard time getting.

  2. Jonathan says:

    And yet, Strikeforce is still here. I understand you want to break a story, but you are so damn negative on Strikeforce.

    I understand that you want to cover the UFC exclusively, so when Strikeforce goes down, all the fighters will be under one banner right?

    I know that you will say that my post is “people giving you flack” like you like to bring up when talking about the implosion of PRIDE. I understand that there are some negative things about Strikeforce, and that they are not as strong as the UFC, but you seem to want to dump them in the grave, and I think that you are wrong there.

    Delete this post if you want, like you have done with my other posts. This is your website, and I understand if you want all of the ideas here to fall in line with yours.

    • Zach Arnold says:

      And yet, Strikeforce is still here. I understand you want to break a story, but you are so damn negative on Strikeforce.

      None of this is ‘breaking’ a story. It’s making observations about obvious things that others apparently don’t see as ‘obvious.’ You sound like a PRIDE fan stuck in 2006 during the implosion.

      I understand that you want to cover the UFC exclusively, so when Strikeforce goes down, all the fighters will be under one banner right?

      This is hilarious. I am having lots of fun when people accuse me of being on the UFC pay roll. Why am I having flashbacks now…

      I know that you will say that my post is “people giving you flack” like you like to bring up when talking about the implosion of PRIDE. I understand that there are some negative things about Strikeforce, and that they are not as strong as the UFC, but you seem to want to dump them in the grave, and I think that you are wrong there.

      Did you happen to notice that I said that I hope Scott Coker smartens up about what needs to be done image-wise to make it work in Japan? Again, please stack up my resume and my knowledge base of how things go in Japan versus other writers.

      I’m not the one dumping on SF — their own employees independent contractors are.

      Delete this post if you want, like you have done with my other posts. This is your website, and I understand if you want all of the ideas here to fall in line with yours.

      An odd accusation given that I don’t recall deleting many, if any of your posts in the past, and given the amount of venom against me that I leave on in the comments section.

      • Jonathan says:

        I guess I look at it like this. I firmly believe that you expect Strikeforce to go out of business and fail.

        I see that you write posts to that end.

        I’m not saying that you are on the UFC payroll, but when I constantly see nothing but negative articles from you regarding things that are not the UFC, and I believe that you expect them to fail, then what is the point of posting articles about them if your articles are always going to be the same?

        I also reckon that you would post negative articles regarding Strikeforce even if things went well for them.

        Am I wrong?

        And since I do not know how to “quote” posts in these threads, allow me to cut and paste a response:

        “And yet, Strikeforce is still here. I understand you want to break a story, but you are so damn negative on Strikeforce.”

        None of this is ‘breaking’ a story. It’s making observations about obvious things that others apparently don’t see as ‘obvious.’ You sound like a PRIDE fan stuck in 2006 during the implosion.

        In your first sentence, you say “making observations about obvious things that others apparently don’t see as ‘obvious.”

        Is that not the definition of “breaking a story”…..reporting on something before everyone else does?

        • Robert Poole says:

          Breaking a story involves new unearthed news, not observations on already reported news that might be contradictory to that of other mainstream reporters.

          I don’t think Zach has hinted toward wanting Strikeforce’s demise at all. I think that calling out the absurdity of some of Scott Coker’s really insane decisions is part of reporting the fight game. Letting your World Heavyweight Champion not defend the belt for 2 years is idiotic. Then having him in a Heavyweight Tournament but refusing to have the belt on the line and go 5 rounds is idiotic. Some of the matchmaking has been so questionable that it makes sense to suggest reasonably that Strikeforce’s key decision maker may eventually drive them out of business.

          That isn’t bias. Zach has equally come down hard on some of the moronic things said/done by Dana White.

          SF buddying up to a man closely tied to the shadiness of PRIDE is worth mentioning if you consider yourself a true MMA reporter. That is unless you’re too busy being a fanboy and want to cover up their undesirables because you yourself want to do your part to prop up a UFC competitor. Judging by your posts here, I would say you should be more defensive in your commentary than Zach should be about his. After all, you routinely attack 45 for his fanboyism and then go out of your way to defend Fedor at every turn. Seems like the pot should STFU about the kettle.

          Rp

        • Mike says:

          I dont comment much, but I’ve been reading Zach’s articles for since about 2003. Sure, I don’t agree with all of his opinions, but he calls things as he sees them.

          I haven’t ever seen a particular bias in anything here besides obvious opinion pieces. News is news, and although his inferences may be slightly off, he has the best grasp of the market in Japan that I have seen on any MMA blog, at least in English.

        • Jonathan says:

          Robert,

          Please show me an example where I have gone out of my way to defend Fedor? I didn’t call his loss to Werdum a fluke or anything like it.

          To those of you who say that this is not about “breaking a story” then look back at how many times Zach pats himself on the back for the being the “first” one to predict the fall and demise of Pride. I think that he is trying to set himself up to do it again with Strikeforce, and this is what I am referring to as “breaking the story”

          Also, I do not believe that it is about journalistic standards for Zach. I think it is about page views. I understand that the title of this blog is FightOpinion, but I honestly believe that Zach writes topics that he knows will get in the craw of many fans, and thus, create more buzz/interest/views for his site.

          I guess part of me looks forward to a day when there is no more MMA except for the UFC so Zach can find something else to write about.

      • edub says:

        Wow, he vaguely called you a UFC nuthugger. I’m kind of puzzled.

        That tweet you made a while back about MMA fans and the hive mentality (I think that was it) was dead on. Not surprising i ended up having to eat my words.

        Hope you saw my apology to Snowden.

        • Zach Arnold says:

          Live and learn, don’t stress over it.

        • The Gaijin says:

          “Hope you saw my apology to Snowden.”

          ‘Dubs – care to elaborate? (or not…just being nosy)

        • edub says:

          I made accusations about Snowden like some other people on here for a while (biases against Zuffa). After actually going back and reading about a year and a half’s worth of his articles I realized i was wrong. He has a bunch of “anti Zuffa” articles but they are comparative to ones written about other companies, commissions, and fighters. I was wrong so I had to eat my words in a conversation with Alan, and make an apology.

      • p. says:

        I gotta agree to some extent with what some people are saying.

        I don’t really see any “pro-Zuffa” bias here, and I think you’re one of the best MMA writers around, certainly when it comes to insights and understanding of the Japanese market (and as someone who has a slight preference for Japanese MMA, that’s been invaluable and extremely informative), but every time I click a Fight Opinion link I think “I wonder what negative news/opinion or doomsaying he’s got to offer this time”.

        I don’t think things should be sugar coated or that unpopular or uncomfortable topics should be avoided, quite the opposite, but you can write about happy stuff as well you know. I haven’t been a fan for long enough to have followed you for more than a couple of years, but it’s easy to get the feeling that I’m reading the musings of a disillusioned and somewhat bitter once enthusiastic fan who has soured on the whole thing.

        I don’t know what the real deal is and I could be entirely wrong, but true or false it’s the impression created.

  3. Jon Luther says:

    Good stuff on Shinoda and the guilt by association. It definitely crossed my mind, but I wonder if people will honestly care about old PRIDE stuff anymore. My impression is that Shinoda works for Real Entertainment and, comparatively to DREAM, they have been the professional party in quite a few dealings lately. For example, they pay their fighters — DREAM won’t even return phone calls. That is my impression though, and I could be wrong. I don’t know the inner-workings of either group very well.

    As far as the Gilbert Melendez calling out Frankie Edgar section, I don’t see it being such a detrimental thing as it’s a pipe dream and nothing more. The UFC will never co-promote whereas Bellator would. Frankie will probably never respond to it nor will Dana. Bellator, on the other hand, seized the opportunity and tried to battle it out with Strikeforce in the press.

    Strikeforce did drop the ball with Siyar Bahadurzada. He’s a promising fighter and would fit perfectly in Strikeforce. I imagine there was a lot of mis-communication between Strikeforce and Golden Glory, but that is no consolation to Siyar or the casual fan. I’m interested in whether or not the same thing will happen to Gohkan Saki. He’s hinted at being sealed up with Strikeforce, but there’s been no official statement to the best of my knowledge. We could have a very similar situation to Siyar’s, where Team GG and Gokhan assume that everything is kosher on Strikeforce’s end, when they simply aren’t.

    • Phil says:

      I think people in Japan still care about the Pride stuff, I mean K1 and FEG were successful, and now they’ve teamed up with the Pride people and they are in serious trouble, and all of the sudden the Pride people are talking about moving on without FEG.

      I don’t know as much as zach when it comes down to all the politics in Japan, but when you look at how Pride’s “partners” have fared in the talent exchange with zuffa, the sale to zuffa, and this partnership with FEG, I wonder why anyone would consider working with them at all, never mind whether they can get your stuff on TV or line up sponsors in Japan.

  4. EJ says:

    While this is a very interesting development for sure, i’m more astounded that SF is paying Nick Diaz 150k per fight. That along with Fedor’s purse, overpaying Dan Henderson and god knows what they’ve had to pay Overeem and Werdum to get them in the tournament.

    The real story as usual with these orgs is in the payroll departmen,t vastly overpaying for guys who aren’t worth it even if Showtime takes some of the load is a disaster waiting to happen. There is a reason why SF seems dead set on being on PPV soon because they see the writting on the wall and for once i’d like mma writers to do their job in this.

    It’s incredible how many articles i’ve seen on the UFC’s financial state while orgs like Affliction and Bellator finances never seem to be in question until everything blows up.

    • 45 Huddle says:

      Strikeforce is forced to pay above market value in order to attract even moderate stars….. And really Diaz isn’t a star. And when I say market value I mean the UFC because they are the ones who really dictate the market right now.

      Diaz….. Along with another male title fight AND Walker barely pulled in a $500,000 gate. And that was in San Jose. SF can’t even get 10,000 paid fans anymore in their go to city.

      If you notice with pay…. Most of their cards have only 1 big payday fighter on them. Which is why they space out things so much. It’s also why their entire undercard cost less then $20,000. A company who was doing well financially would be stacking cards more and developing talent on the undercards. SF doesn’t have that luxury….

      • The Gaijin says:

        This recent card although one of their “arena” series “A” cards, kinda fell just below a “top level” card for me, and the payroll seemed REALLY high relatively speaking.

        A reported payroll of $500K with a $500k gate. I guess they also get the $700K Showtime fee and $3,275 in merch sales, so maybe they’re running in the black for this show, but it’s not like they’re rolling in it. Not to mention the payroll figure includes the “$5,000″ they pay Walker, which from what I heard is about $95,000 less than he’s really being paid (see: donating to charity).

        • The Gaijin says:

          Sorry, wasn’t saying they were not making money. Just noting that for a #2 promotion they’re not making very much in terms of profits and they’re not really generating a lot of growth.

          Nice news on the TV numbers and momentum for the HWGP, so we’ll see what they can do with these positives.

      • notthface says:

        I think you’re way off on in suggesting this show lost money. They did $500,000 at the gate and got a $700,000 license fee from Showtime (forget their Challengers cards which are immensely successful for them). Throw in their foreign deals (mostly SHINE and SPACE TV), merchandise (admittedly very little), and sponsors fees and thy brought in over $1.5 mil for this one show.

        Now what were there expenses?
        Payout? $550,000 with Herschel’s full payment.
        Site fees? Basically none, since HP Pavilion is owned by their partners.
        Production costs? handled by Showtime.
        Travel expenses? A fraction what the UFC pays, How much do you think it cost for Diaz and his camp to go to San Jose? Or the AKA team? Or all the local fighters? Or the whole promotion that works in that town. Even the cage and in-house show didn’t cost anything since they only had to take it out of storage and not cart it across country.
        Advertising? This is Strikeforce, they don’t pay a dime to advertise. That’s done by Showtime and the MMA blogs.

        I think people look at all the stupid stuff Strikeforce does and say they have to be losing money. But that stupid stuff (not airing prelims, using locals on prelims, letting Showtime handle production and advertising) is what keeps them from losing their shirts like Affliction and Elite XC did. As for payouts, sure Fedor probably gets a ton, but the rest (even Hendo) are probably affordable. Sure they may be overpriced in comparison to similar talent in the UFC, but the great thing for Strikeforce is that the UFC has been able to keep wages low enough that they’re actually affordable to them.

        • edub says:

          “Sure they may be overpriced in comparison to similar talent in the UFC, but the great thing for Strikeforce is that the UFC has been able to keep wages low enough that they’re actually affordable to them.”

          You know I’ve never thought about it, but that makes a lot of sense. Since Zuffa keeps the market value pretty low over paying really isn’t over paying that much now is it?

  5. white ninja says:

    Its on record in the late Toshiro Igari’s book that Sakakibara was to be arrested for extortion and this led to Pride being pulled off Fuji TV –

    http://www.scribd.com/doc/46533478/Miro-Mijatovic-v-Pride-FC

    Sotaru Shinoda was considered too small a fish for the Police to be interested in

    Working with Shinoda and Real Entertainment means Coker kisses goodbye to any serious media relationship in Japan and any serious sponsorship

  6. Dogbone says:

    Strikeforce is paying nick diaz 150,000 because he is very valuble to there organization. Did you see his fight saturday the dude always brings it & fans love to watch his fights they love him in san jose. Strikeforce need fighters like diaz to be successful everybody can’t be like the ufc, they don’t have to put on exciting fights & events to be successful.

    You idiots seem to think coker don’t know what he is doin he has been doing business in japan for many moons, he knows the ins & outs & the way things work out there. But it wouldn’t matter coker could pull of a successful show in japan & mr arnold would still find another petty reason to write a article about coker & strikeforce (instead of commending them for there effort) & just speak unnessasary bullsh*t about them. This website should be called strikeforce opinion. But that’s mma for its like how dare try to be a successful mma promoter like dana white & his bosses. In every other sport you have plenty of promoters & team owners ect that or successful & respect each other enough to do business together. But not mma its like the mob kiss the pinky ring b*tches lol mma is a cold sport.

    • Zach Arnold says:

      So, how long have I been writing about MMA and about the Japanese scene? I’d be interested in hearing your response.

    • The Gaijin says:

      What shows/fight business has Coker previously run in Japan?

      He was their US promoter for such K-1 classics as Bob Sapp vs. Kimo, Min Soo Kim vs. Scott Junk, and tournaments featuring Cabbage and Sean O’Haire.

  7. white ninja says:

    Coker was Ken Imai’s front man running K1 US

    Just cause Coker has been in Japan more than 100x and is the 2nd coming of Don King when it comes to promoting events in the US, doesnt mean he knows shit about promotion in Japan

    Dealing with Shinoda and Real Entertainment proves that Coker; and leaving photos around to prove it; effectively means Coker is a moron – at least when it comes to Japan

  8. 45 Huddle says:

    Around 550,000 viewers for Strikeforce. It’s the Freakshow effect. Last time Walker fought he got similar numbers. But when Diaz fought after that he couldn’t carry over the numbers.

    Diaz now has a second main event with Walker on the card. Care to predict if Diaz can carry over those same numbers for his fight with Daley?

    My guess is no….

    • smoogy says:

      So, great numbers for Showtime despite the buzz about Walker not being able to draw the same heat as his debut, and Nick Diaz continues to ascend not only as the unlikely star of SF’s Shark Tank events, he appears to be gaining traction as a legit TV star on Showtime too. Yeah, what a disaster. Coker must be beside himself.

      If you don’t think Diaz vs. Daley can be built into a big TV fight, you’re simply deluding yourself.

      • edub says:

        I think what he was saying was the big numbers had more to do with Walker, and less to do with Diaz. Sadly, the numbers from their events would support that opinion.

        • 45 Huddle says:

          Exactly

          Look at their 3 highest rated Showtime events. 2 with Walker and 1 with Carano. The fans dot come back in the same numbers for the regular cards.

          If Diaz was such a star, he would have gotten bigger then a $500,000 gate. If he was such a big star, his fight with Noons would have produced higher ratings. The fact is that he has been the beneficiary of 2 Walker cards and so far hasn’t been able to carry it forward.

          History tells us people never stay Once the freak is gone. Not in Japan. Not on TUF (think Kimbo). And not for Strikeforce.

          Show me a few cards in a tow without Walker on them getting those ratings, and I will tell you SF is showing grow. Until then, it’s just the same bump SF saw the last time Walker fought.

        • smoogy says:

          The peak rating came in the final half hour during the main event. So while Walker undoubtedly helped get many of them in the door, Diaz kept them there.

        • 45 Huddle says:

          Correct. Walker got the fans in. That’s the point. They wouldn’t have watched if he wasn’t on. Which is the only reason they averaged over 500,000.

          It’s shocking how people rationalize this stuff. It has nothing to do with a GP. Nothing to do with Diaz. It had to do with Walker. There are 2 years of SF ratings history to prove this.

          And the last time they had a huge bump in ratings due to him…. It didn’t stick. Just like the bump in TUF ratings didn’t stick post Kimbo.

          Like I said…. Give me a few non freakshow cards that produce constantly high numbers and then you can say it is progress for SF.

          How high do you think the Columbus ratings will be? Do you think it will keep up? Nope. Fedor will get around 450,000 and Henderson will get between 350,000 to 400,000 average for their cards. And then what? It’s just a big circle that can’t be broken until they create stars.

          And don’t tell me Diaz is a star because the gates and Noons fights prove he is not.

        • 45 Huddle says:

          What you and a lot of SF fanboys are doing…. Would be like me seeing GSP get 750,000 PPV Buys and then declaring every UFC PPV in the future will get that.

          Forecasting is your friend….. Learn the concept….

      • notthface says:

        Let’s not ignore the effects of the Grand Prix. I predict the Feb card comes close to or breaks the record. There is a lot of hype for the Grand Prix. Sure most of it is the hardcore audience, which is most of Strikeforce’s audience, but it seems to be getting them some attention with the more casual fanbase. As anecdotal evidence take a look a the number of bars showing the Fedor card. I talked to a number of bar managers who said they would be showing the fights because of the interest in them. And these places never show Strikeforce fights!

        • Chuck says:

          That’s awesome that many bars are interested in showing the Feb. 12 card. But how many more patrons will these bars get because of the fight card? It’s unfortunate, but unless it’s UFC then most fans don’t care. But if the Fedor/Rogers card and the Fedor/Werdum card didn’t produce higher than normal ratings for SF/SHO then what makes you think Fedor/Bigfoot will bring in the numbers? Because it’s attached to the GP? Maybe it will do the trick, who knows?

      • Jonathan says:

        45 Huddle,

        You’re not going to say anything positive about Strikeforce, so why in the world would we take your negative posts seriously?

        Everything you have to say is negative, and it is annoying. If you don’t like Strikeforce, then please don’t watch it.

        Wouldn’t you be more happy then?

        • 45 Huddle says:

          What I said is true. Those are around the same ratings the last Walker card got. Yet people are saying it’s for other reasons.

          The desperately want to see SF be successful so badly that it warps their view point.

          What I said was logical and based on their past ratings. Nothing has changed as of today in terms of what SF can do with a non freakshow card….

        • Jonathan says:

          But if Strikeforce bothers you so much and you don’t agree with what other people are saying about, then why in the world do you watch it?

          You think that their fighters are shit. You think that they are not nearly as good as the UFC. You think that they are over-rated, big fish in a small pond, etc. etc.

          So why watch them? All you do is trash them.

  9. smoogy says:

    Gilbert is so “displeased” with Strikeforce that he’s already informally committed to re-signing with them. I don’t think being aware of and wanting fights with top LWs outside of the promotion is the same thing as being displeased. He’s just competitive.

  10. [...] As native promotions hang on for dear life, Strikeforce is considering its own entry into the complicated market. With stars on hand like Fedor Emelianenko, Alistair Overeem, Josh Barnett, and Shinya Aoki, there is some potential there. But Japanese MMA expert Zach Arnold says Strikeforce is making all the wrong allies in its attempt to breathe life into the Japanese scene: [...]

  11. [...] already written a couple of articles this week (here and here) talking about the messier side of the Japanese MMA scene (covering the strange, bizarre, [...]

  12. [...] of Japan right now is a very touchy situation. At last month’s San Jose event, Mr. Coker was stoked about meeting Nobuyuki Sakakibara’s former right-hand man, Sotaro Shinoda. The picture and negotiations raised eyebrows amongst insiders in [...]

  13. [...] Wildcard thought: If Zuffa cuts a deal with Real Entertainment to have Real manage their Japanese show, that would open up a whole new can of worms as far as associations with ticket brokers, production companies, and the like. Advice to Zuffa: if you’re smart, you won’t send Scott Coker over to the show and have him take pictures while hanging around with characters like Sotaro Shinoda. [...]

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