It was announced today the UFC parent-company Zuffa has purchased their main rival, Strikeforce. Strikeforce officially becomes another name on the list of companies that went from being the competition to the UFC, to be owned by them. PRIDE and World Extreme Cagefighting (WEC) are the other names to add to the list.
What was expected to be a rather uneventful weekend in the world of MMA has instantly become one of the most historical days ever in a sport that, by all means, is still growing at an alarming rate. The news was announced by Dana White in an exclusive interview with MMAFighting.com’s Ariel Helwani. While the specifics have not been released on the deal, White simply called it a “good deal” for both sides.
What we do know initially is this; UFC and Strikeforce will continue to operate as separate brands for the foreseeable future. All UFC contracted talent will continue to be obligated to their current UFC deals and the same holds true for all Strikeforce talents. White made it clear that Strikeforce will continue to operate “business as usual.” Strikeforce will remain with Showtime and White stated that it’s a relationship that has been prosperous for both Strikeforce and the sport. White hopes that this relationship can continue getting stronger in the future.
The first question that will spring to mind for people first reading or hearing about this news will be, how long until we begin seeing some of these dream matches that people have been hoping to see for years now. Just to name a few; Alistair Overeem/Cain Velasquez, Fedor/Lesnar? Maybe even the Fedor/Couture match that Couture originally left the UFC to chase after years ago. Nick Diaz vs. GSP? Anderson Silva vs. Ronaldo Souza?
While MMA fans can dream, White immediately squashed all hopes of seeing those “superfights” any time in the near future. White said that any “superfights” would not happen and that all current fighter contracts will remain intact. It’ll be interesting to see where we are within a year when many Strikeforce fighters have their contracts expire. Dan Henderson, for example, only has 1 fight remaining on his current Strikeforce deal. While we won’t be seeing these dream matches until contracts are up, it was stated that any UFC or Strikeforce fighter will have the option of jumping to the other brand at the end of their contract.
Other questions that fans want to know include, will the UFC finally embrace woman’s MMA due to the purchase of Strikeforce? What happens with Paul Daley? It was at UFC 113 where Daley was dominated by Josh Koscheck for 3 rounds and then nailed Koscheck with a sucker punch after the fight was over. In a post-match interview, Dana White immediately announced that Paul Daley would never fight again in the UFC due to his actions. Somewhere, Paul Daley has to be wondering exactly how much longer he will have a job. Daley is currently scheduled to face Nick Diaz for the Welterweight Title on April 9.
One must wonder if today’s news will be good for the business. It seemed to work out OK with the UFC’s acquisition of PRIDE, but this one is slightly different. The UFC and Strikeforce are, for the most part, the two most viable mixed-martial arts companies in the world. Only Dream is just as recognized. For fighters, this could mean that not having employment in the UFC or the UFC-owned Strikeforce could mean one less paycheck and possibly fighting for much less money or less exposure in other places.
This move comes nearly ten years to the day that a similar tactic took place in the world of professional wrestling when Vince McMahon purchased WCW from Ted Turner. While ratings soared at first, it’s been a steady drop since then. The talent that was once evenly spread out over both companies is no longer there with the WCW a long-forgotten memory. It’s safe to say that many good talents went to waste simply because there wasn’t enough room on one roster under one company. Possibly, we’ll be seeing the same thing again in this deal.
After all, he owns them now.
To view the entire interview where Dana White Makes the announcement, click play below:
Brett Clendaniel is the owner and managing editor of http://www.WrestleChat.net.