Sports

Annual UFC vs. Strikeforce Event Could Be MMA Super Bowl

Dana White could use Alistair Overeem once a year in UFCIf there is one thing missing from the UFC it is an annual event like WrestleMania. However, the purchase of Strikeforce by Zuffa gives the UFC a chance to change this with an annual event featuring all Strikeforce vs. UFC fights. If promoted right, this could be the Super Bowl that MMA is missing.

MMA fans are still buzzing over the purchase of Strikeforce by the UFC’s parent company Zuffa. Dana White has indicated that he will keep Strikeforce and Strikeforce fighters separate from the UFC. White has since changed his stance on interpromotional fights and is open to making Super Fights if the fans want to see them. Forget about one fight, why not an annual card of Strikeforce vs. UFC fights that fans can get excited about all year and celebrate the event like their Super Bowl or WrestleMania?

Having one annual Strikeforce vs. UFC event allows Dana White to not hold true with his plans of keeping Strikeforce and even gives him a little more incentive to strengthen the brand. For an entire year White can make new stars, create dream match scenarios, and turn Strikeforce into a strong #2 MMA brand with television exposure on CBS and Showtime along with the UFC promotional machine behind the brand. Zuffa could continue to honor current Strikeforce contracts which allow their fighters to fight elsewhere. Once a year White could take 6-12 Strikeforce fighters in all of the various divisions and reward their success with an opportunity at a “freelance” fight on a UFC show against a UFC star. I can’t imagine many Strikeforce fighters turning down those opportunities.

The beauty of this is that it doesn’t have to be a show full of 6-12 Super Fights. All the UFC would need to do is make one, maybe two Super Fights between elite Strikeforce fighters and champions against elite UFC fighters and champions and pad the undercard with a mix of talent with equal records from both brands. This would allow the UFC to avoid blowing their load early and maxing out their Super Fights thus leaving other big money fights on the table for the following year. Hell, if Dana White wanted to really cause a stir he could announce a potential fight a year earlier with pre conditions. There is huge potential here!

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The idea here would be to create a buzz throughout the entire year. If Gilbert Melendez happens to be the hot star in Strikeforce, a Super Fight vs. any of the elite UFC lightweights is something that is more special than a typical UFC or Strikeforce fight. How about Alistair Overeem vs. Brock Lesnar or Cain Velasquez, Fedor Emelianenko vs. a UFC fighter? We can talk Dream Fights all day and I will be doing a future blog on potential dream fights. But the idea here is that fans know that the same time of the year every year they are going to see a Super Bowl like event from the UFC featuring matches and fights they would never be able to see at any other time.

Some skeptics may ask what happens if Strikeforce stars wind up beating the top UFC stars? It doesn’t matter. A UFC star is a Zuffa fighter and a Strikeforce star is a Zuffa fighter. Nobody will lose in these Super Fights and Zuffa wins no matter which fighter comes out on top at the end of the night.

Dana White has repeatedly said that he thinks that the UFC has the potential to be the number one sport in the world. It is quite ambitious but without an annual extravaganza it isn’t going to happen. The UFC doesn’t have a whole lot of options left for Super Fights with guys on their roster as it stands today. This gives UFC fans those Super Fights and at the same time puts MMA at the forefront of the sports world for one day a year. It won’t happen the first year, but two, three years down the line and the UFC will have a monster on their hands.

There are a lot of great possibilities today with the UFC and Strikeforce. The UFC and Zuffa missed out on most of these opportunities when Zuffa bought PRIDE FC. If Dana White and Joe Silva don’t act now they may never have these kinds of opportunities again.

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Eric G.

Eric is the owner and editor-in-chief of the Camel Clutch Blog. Eric has worked in the pro wrestling industry since 1995 as a ring announcer in ECW and a commentator/host on television, PPV, and home video. Eric also hosted Pro Wrestling Radio on terrestrial radio from 1998-2009. Check out some of Eric's work on his IMDB bio and Wikipedia. Eric has an MBA from Temple University's Fox School of Business.

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