Strikeforce Fights In The Works For Early 2010In the wake of the explosive “Evolution” card last night, Strikeforce is already planning big things for the year ahead. CEO Scott Coker has addressed many of the fights that the promotion hopes to showcase in 2010, including a pair of interesting “Strikeforce vs DREAM” matchups.

Coker has yet to determine opponents for former NFL Heisman Trophy winner Herschel Walker and ex-WWE superstar Bobby “The Dominator” Lashley for their January 30th bouts in Sunrise, Florida, but expects to have the event’s main card finalised in the coming weeks.

Lashley (4-0-0) and Walker (0-0-0) will both make their Strikeforce debuts on the televised portion of the Florida card and Walker is expected to be matched up against an opponent with a similar and limited amount of experience in the sport. Lashley is rumoured to be facing undefeated heavyweight prospect Shane del Rosario (9-0-0), who has only had one fight make it out of the first round.

Also on the same card, DREAM Welterweight Champion Marius “The Whitemare” Zaromskis (13-3-0) will battle former EliteXC title challenger Nick Diaz (20-7-0, 1 ND). The bout, which will reportedly crown the first Strikeforce Welterweight Champion, was not officially confirmed as a championship fight by Coker. However, it is expected that the bout will, in fact, be a five-round title affair.

Coker did confirm that Strikeforce Women’s Lightweight (145-Pound) Champion Cristiane “Cyborg” Santos (8-1-0) will defend her title against Dutch standout Marloes Coenen (20-3-0). first reported on this bout on November 26th. Santos captured the title with a first-round stoppage of Gina “Conviction” Carano in August, while Coenen submitted Roxanne Modafferi on the undercard of Strikeforce: “Fedor vs Rogers” in early November.

Rumoured bouts for Strikeforce’s return to CBS in April include a heavyweight showdown between WAMMA Unified Heavyweight Champion “The Last Emperor” Fedor Emelianenko and jiu-jitsu ace Fabricio “Vai Cavalo” Werdum, and a Strikeforce Middleweight Championship clash between champion Jake Shields and former two-division PRIDE champ Dan “Hendo” Henderson. Carano may also appear on the card if her ongoing movie commitments permit.

In a continuance of its growing relationship with DREAM in Japan, Strikeforce also plans to showcase a pair of lightweight attractions pitting Strikeforce Lightweight Champion Gilbert “El Niño” Melendez against DREAM Lightweight Champion Shinya “Tobikan Judan” Aoki and former Strikeforce champ Josh “The Punk” Thomson against Japanese star Tatsuya “Crusher” Kawajiri.

The promotion has big plans for the coming year and still aims to put on upwards of 20 fight cards over a 13-month span. Whether this will take the company to new heights or become too much to handle will become clear as we head into what could potentially be the biggest year for mixed martial arts yet.