Strikeforce has reportedly landed a deal with Japanese cable station SkyPerfect to broadcast upcoming events featuring the Heavyweight Tournament on pay-per-view, beginning with the "Fedor vs Silva" show on Feb. 12, according to Fighters Only.
The timing apparently couldn't be any better for the San Jose based promotion, as rumors of the decline of Japanese based promotions DREAM and Sengoku have run rampant in recent months.
Company CEO Scott Coker hasn't been shy regarding his intentions to run shows in Japan and this is obviously a big step towards that as his organization continues to break further into the overseas market. As it stands now, Strikeforce has already had plenty of talent exchanges with promotions like DREAM, most notably Shinya Aoki challenging Gilbert Melendez for the lightweight championship.
Heavyweight headache Josh Barnett also has ties to "The Land of the Rising Sun" with his professional wrestling career still in full swing. His popularity may be tantamount to the success of future pay-per-views depending on how far he manages to make it in the Grand Prix.
That is, if Strikeforce can find a way to get him in the cage.
Barnett's match-up against Brett Rogers is currently in limbo, as he is still embroiled in a struggle to regain his license in California. That struggle is likely to affect his ability to fight anywhere in the U.S., as athletic commissions typically adhere to each others rulings.
Other potential issues with the unprecedented Heavyweight Tournament include Fedor Emelianenko's management making noise about making sure strict drug testing policies are in place for each of the participants.
There is also the possibility that M-1 will attempt to renegotiate "The Last Emperor's" contract if he is to advance in the tournament. The passboard runs on statistics and the wily Russians don't exactly have a great track record.
All things considered, Strikeforce is aiming for the sky and so far things have gone smoothly. Can they really pull this off?
The Heavyweight Tournament begins on Feb. 12 with Fedor Emelianenko taking on Antonio Silva while Andrei Arlovski will square off against Sergei Kharitinov.