It looks like Scott Coker and crew have a plan in place for the company’s 205-pound pool including a future contender for current light heavyweight champ Dan Henderson and a pair of possible opponents for former title-holder Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal’s return to the ring this summer.
Coker recently opened up about the promotion’s position on both fighters, as well as a few other relevant names in the division, in a conversation with MMAWeekly where it was revealed Henderson’s next challenger will emerge on April 9 pending the outcome of Gegard Mousasi’s match-up with Mike Kyle at “Strikeforce: Diaz vs. Daley” in San Diego.
Kyle is coming off a loss to Strikeforce World Grand Prix semi-finalist Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva after stepping in at the last minute as a late replacement but had gone 8-1 prior to the defeat with the only stumble coming against highly-ranked heavyweight Fabricio Werdum and including a win over former belt-wearer Rafael “Feijao” Cavalcante.
The 30-3-1 Mousasi, also part of Strikeforce’s one-and-done light heavyweight lineage, has emerged victorious in back-to-back bouts after falling to Lawal last April. The defeat broke a fifteen-fight winning streak for Mousasi involving success against a number of respected adversaries such as Denis Kang, Melvin Manhoef, and Renato Sobral, as well as current middleweight champions Hector Lombard (Bellator) and Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza (Strikeforce).
Meanwhile, according to Coker, the last man to defeat Mousasi – Lawal – will likely face either Ovince St. Preux or Roger Gracie on June 18 in his backyard of Dallas, Texas when Strikeforce journeys to the Lone Star State for the next leg of their Grand Prix. The 7-1 Lawal hasn’t fought since August after injuring his knee in a loss to Cavalcante and undergoing surgery as a result.
PHOTO CREDIT – STRIKEFORCE