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Renato Sobral and Gegard Mousasi, two light heavyweights forced off the Affliction Titanic last week, are on solid footing once more: Strikeforce has picked up the intact bout for its Aug. 15 event in San Jose, Calif.
Fortuitous, because the card had its share of problems. Nick Diaz is now without an opponent, because Joe Riggs dropped out. Josh Thomson made noise during an MMAJunkie radio spot that he may (again) postpone a bout with Gilbert Melendez to later in the year. And Alistair Overeem reinjured his hand, wiping out a title bout with Fabricio Werdum.
There are suddenly a lot of in-shape replacements available, but whether Strikeforce is capable of matching salary requests and the UFC will tie up its contracts in mediation if it has first crack at the Affliction rubble is up in the air. (Sobral had a pre-existing relationship with Strikeforce and remains its light heavyweight champion.)
Gilbert Yvel and some of the lighter-weight Affliction athletes might be within financial reach. Yvel, who is unlikely to be of interest to the UFC, thanks to a spotty behavioral record and a lax ground game, made just $30,000 for a fight with Josh Barnett at Affliction II in January. He could probably be convinced to punch someone on short notice. He may be punching someone at this very moment, sans compensation.
Less likely: Vitor Belfort, who made $225,000 for a KO of Matt Lindland in January, and who would probably balk at taking a pay cut.