Saturday, 12 March 2011
ZUFFA BUYS STRIKEFORCE!
In shocking news, Zuffa LLC, the parent company of the UFC, has finalised the purchase of Strikeforce, their closest competitor. UFC president Dana White says that Strikeforce will continue on as normal, with Scott Coker continuing to run the promotion, and that all employees of the promotion will be able to see out the remainder of their contracts, including those with bad blood with White/the UFC such as Paul Daley and Frank Shamrock.
In a week which has seen Japan's #2 promotion Sengoku Raiden Championship effectively close up shop, with Japan's #1 promotion DREAM on very shaky ground indeed, this effectively gives UFC a worldwide monopoly over MMA, with only minor promotions such as Bellator, the UK's BAMMA and Poland's KSW as distant rivals. Strikeforce gave fighters leverage when negotiating contracts, without this fight purses will no doubt dwindle.
Strikeforce's deals with M-1, the Russian promotion that handles Fedor Emelianenko, and Showtime, the American cable network, remain in place. Dana has stated that some UFC fighters may move to Strikeforce in the short term. Strikeforce's women's divisions (White has been opposed to promoting female fighting in the past) will remain intact.
The move comes almost 10 years to the day since WWE purchased WCW. This was bad for pro-wrestling in hindsight, and it remains to be seen what the results of today's takeover will be.
Fin (I don't have a twitter so follow @WLH_Stu instead)