Strikeforce March 5 Card Likely for Ohio Arnolds


Dan Henderson walks to the Strikeforce cage: Dave Mandel | Sherdog.com


Ohio’s Arnold Fitness Weekend in March will likely welcome Strikeforce to its line-up.

Strikeforce officials told Sherdog.com Tuesday that although the event was not yet confirmed, the “chances are good” that the promotion will stage an event on March 5 at the Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio.

MMAJunkie first broke the news of the potential event Tuesday, reporting that Ohio Athletic Commission executive director Bernie Profato had confirmed that Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker had committed to a March 5 date in the state’s capital.

The Arnold Fitness Weekend, formerly known as The Arnold Classic, is a weekend bodybuilding and fitness expo named after legendary bodybuilder Arnold Schwarzenegger. The event, which brings in thousands of spectators from all over the world annually, has expanded its scope in recent years, aligning itself with both submission grappling and MMA.

For the last four years, Zuffa coordinated with the event to promote shows, beginning with UFC 68 in 2007, followed by UFC 82 in 2008 and UFC 96 in 2009. This past March, instead of a UFC event, Zuffa promoted WEC 47 at the Nationwide Arena for the 2010 Arnold Fitness Weekend, which saw Brian Bowles upset Miguel Torres to win the WEC bantamweight title.

Zuffa elected not to participate this coming year to focus on furthering its reach in various international markets. UFC 127 will go down on Feb. 27 in Sydney, Australia and UFC 128 is set to take place on March 19 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.

Two Strikeforce events are in the works prior to a March 5 bill. The 13th installment of the Strikeforce Challengers series will take place Jan. 7 in Nashville, Tenn., headlined by a showdown between welterweight prospects Tyron Woodley and Tarec Saffiedine. As well, unbeaten heavyweight Olympian Daniel Cormier will meet Devin Cole on the card.

Also, a yet-to-be-announced event is rumored for Jan. 29 at the HP Pavilion in San Jose, Calif., which could feature Strikeforce welterweight king Nick Diaz’s return to action.

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