Warning- I found this draft from before Werdum v. Fedor. I decided to post it now... cuz this is the first time I've had internet at home since! (blast you S. Florida Comcast!!!!) New comments from right now after the jump thingie. Everything before the jump was written when we all thought crazy horse v, noons II was happening
I just want to state that I enjoy watching Strikeforce. But I think it is super clear that Showtime/CBS runs the show and have no interest in furthering the sport like Zuffa does, but are 100% about spectacle and getting viewers by promoting a choice few guys as being GREATs, even when they may not be. A few notes...
Article A: Cyborg Santos. They want her to be seen as the biggest beast of an unstoppable woman ever created, so they can tout having the #1 woman fighter in the world. The only real fight (besides Carano, which was given for marketing purposes) they have given Cyborg was Marloes Coenen. However, putting Coenen's 2 minute raping of Roxi Modafferi on the dark prelims of that card, when they had time to show it, proves that they aren't interested in building up anyone in the division but Cyborg.
Furthermore, they put JAN FUCKING FINNEY in with Santos!!! WTF! Jan Finney? Really? Do they give her a fight in Strikeforce before to build her up/test her skills? no. They are just throwing her in there to get raped. Cuz thats what they want- For their stars to shine, even if it's not realistically competitive, and even when they have more competitive options out there.
Article B: Cung Le v. Scott Smith II. Le molested Smith in their first match before ending it in spectacular fashion. smith is famous for this and has done it many times. dude has power and throws it like crazy late in the fight when his opponents have their guard down after whoopin him for 2 rounds. It happened in the Benji Radach fight. Did Radach get a rematch? Nah, he's not Strikeforce's star. See, Cung Le gets the rematch so that they can tout his "only one loss, which was avenged" record- a record filled with weak competition thanks to Strikeforce (the toughest fight probably Scott smith, or possible a very old no longer relevant Frank Shamrock). This is a fight we all know Cung Le can win. He proved that last time around. It's not a sport, it's a marketing ploy.
Article C: Why the fuck isn't Fedor fighting Ubereem?
Article D: Another promotion (Dream) wants their LW champ (Aoki) to fight Melendez, and are willing to concede to Strikeforce and have it in america on a Strikeforce show. It so happens that Aoki's style gives Melendez a wonderful chance at victory. They take it in a heartbeat. Now, another promotion (Bellator) wants their LW champ (alvarez) to fight Melendez, and are willing to concede to Strikeforce and have it on their show. Bjorn Rebney has even gone on the air during Bellator events saying that they can't even get Coker to return their calls (they are calling multiple times a day). Melendez has said alvarez is the most intrigueing fight outside the UFC and that he wants it. Alvarez has called out Melendez... soooo..... Coker just doesn't return Bellator's calls. why not up for it this time? Alvarez's style does not bode well for Melendez. gilbert would NOT be able to do his standard GnP on Alvarez. this would be a toss up of a fight, and that's too much to risk for their top LW star. Would it be good for the sport? Yes. But they don't give a shit about sport.
Article E: Betting lines for the last main Strikeforce show are below...
Fedor Emelianenko -1000 vs. Fabricio Werdum +500
- Cristiane Santos -2500 vs. Jan Finney +1000
- Cung Le -400 vs. Scott Smith +275
- KJ Noons -500 vs. Charles Bennett +360
This is the main card- 3 stars for the organization (and 1 they are trying to make into one) vs. 4 opponents they can beat instead of better competition. Let's face the facts, if it was about sport Fedor would be fighting Overeem, Santos would be fighting anyone but Jan Finney, Cung Le would be fighting Robbie Lawlor or Jacare or someone (instead of throwing Lawlor into a catchweight over his weight class cuz they "cant find an opponent") and KJ Noons wouldn't be fighting a Piece of Shit like Bennett so that he can scratch that loss off his record. Disgusting.
It is so bad, that a parlay on these four fights lands at an astronomical +18900 payout. Yah, you read that right. If all four of the underdogs win, you could bet 1 buck on it and win 1,890 dollars. That's gotta be an MMA record, and proof that strikeforce is not about sport.
On a side note- I'm betting the house (aka 5 bucks) on Werdum! Wooo!
7/26- I wrote all the above a month or so ago, and the recent challengers card brings me to two more articles of interest
Article F- Shane Del Rosario was on the shelf since Nov of 2009. Why? Injury? contract dispute? Alien abduction? Nope. They simply didn't give him a fight. Other talented prospects who can't seem to get a fight for the life of them that are under contract with Strikeforce include Billy Evangelista, Luke Rockhold, and Erin Toughill (yah she screwed the pooch on the last fight, but was held up multiple times before the fight and in all reality only got the fight offered to her 5 weeks out). Lyle Beerbolm couldn't even get on the broadcast when he fought bad ass Shaolin Robero (sp?) AND the card went off the air over 30 minutes early! What do all these fighters have in common, besides being extremely talented, successful prospects? They aren't big draws (proper promotion would help that)
Article G- Sarah fucking Kaufman. Do I even need to explain? Their 135 lbs women's CHAMPION was not just put on the mini challengers card. She was not just put on one that aired very late, as opposed to a good timeslot like Challengers 8. Oh no. She didn't even headline!
Article H- Batista. Lashley. Walker.
Don't get me wrong. I'm well aware of the stunts the UFC pulls to get ratings- they certainly have some spectacle. The main two examples- Brock Lesnar (which in hindsight was a very good sports decision to sign) and James Toney v. Randy Couture. Spectacle happens and it needs to happen to gain eyes, and for this sport to grow to a point of not needing spectacle to survive. However there is an EXTREME difference when looking at Strikeforce (and EliteXC for that matter) and other promotions. Sho/CBS is in the business of immediate ratings. Television doesn't need to be nurtured and built up like a fight organization does. You write the big bang episode to get ratings, and then you worry about the next episode later. If the next episode bombs, you dump the show and pick up another. This is the model Sho/CBS has taken with MMA. Fuck building, and promoting. We need immediate ratings RIGHT NOW.