Strikeforce announces the dissolution of its heavyweight division

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Somebody drew the short straw during contract negotiations between Strikeforce and Showtime and while we've yet to verify their identity, it looks as though they weigh somewhere in the neighborhood of 265-pounds.

Under today's contract extension, one that will see the Strikeforce brand of mixed martial arts (MMA) soldier on through 2014 as part of the Showtime network's combat sports programming, the heavyweight division will be eliminated by the end of next year.

From UFC President Dana White:

We'll be doing 6-8 events a year and we'll be focusing on key weight-classes and the women's division. We'll focus on the weight divisions that are strong. The heavyweight division isn't deep enough so we'll do away with the Strikeforce heavyweight division. The women's division is very popular and we're gonna keep it.

The Strikeforce heavyweight division still has some unfinished business and as Executive Vice President and General Manager of Showtime Sports Stephen Espinoza explained, the network wants to tie a ribbon on the heavyweight grand prix tournament.

From the Showtime perspective, it felt incomplete and we wanted to run this tournament to its conclusion and then put an exclamation point on it.

That means we're still in line for a tournament final pitting longtime veteran Josh Barnett against undefeated up-and-comer Daniel Cormier.

After that?

The grand prix winner will then have to prove it wasn't a fluke against an opponent to be named, leaving the division's shelf life at a minimum of two fights.

As of now, there just isn't enough talent to sustain it, especially after poaching Alistair Overeem and Fabricio Werdum for the greener pastures of the UFC.

What say you Maniacs, good move for MMA? Anyone hoping to get Sergei Kharitonov and "Bigfoot" Silva inside the Octagon?


For more on today's contract extension between Strikeforce and Showtime click here.

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