On March 12th, 2011, Zuffa, LLC purchased a majority interest in Strikeforce
, at the time, the #2 mixed martail arts promotion in the world, for a rumored $60 Million dollars. Since the Dana White Interview with Ariel Helwani
, where Dana White claims that Strikeforce will continue as a promotion and everything is "business as usual", Zuffa LLC has systematically taken apart the Company and left it a barren wasteland with no proven draws and only one fighter that has a legitimate claim to being the best fighter in his weight class. This is
business as usual for Zuffa, LLC as Pride FC, Elite XC, and Affliction can all attest, and while Strikeforce is not "officially" dead, the steps White has taken since 3/12/20011 leading into Sunday's aftermath can allow us to proclaim that Strikeforce is
dead and will not be saved as a continuing MMA promotion. Follow along as the steps to
oblivion for Scott Smith
contraction into the UFC are traced.
- 3/12/2011 Zuffa, LLC buys a majority interest in Strikeforce - not much more to say or to elaborate on. Jesse and Geno beat this like Overeem looking for dinner.
- 6/1/2011 Nick Diaz vacates Strikeforce Welterweight Championship to fight GSP in the UFC - While GSP was steamrolling the best in the world, Nick was brilliantly creating a winning streak that convinced enough people that he was a more credible challenger than anyone left on the UFC roster. Diaz not only gets the payday he is looking for, the UFC gets more hype for a GSP fight than any since GSP/BJ Penn II. Win/Win right? Not if you are Strikeforce. You are left with Paul Daley versus Tyron Woodley on Saturday for the right to fight an imaginary opponent to fill Diaz's role as 170lb champion. Note to Scott Coker: When your promotion cannot automatically fill a title fight with credible challengers, you should hear warning bells going off in your head. See: White, Dana.
- 7/29/2011 Alistair Overeem is cut by Strikeforce - Ok, so in early 2011, Strikeforce announces that they are staging a Heavyweight Grand Prix. They sign 8 credible challengers and 4 credible (used loosely) back-ups to participate in a single-elimination tournament that has the MMAniverse in hysterics. "The greatest thing since sliced bread." - NNR "The war to end all wars." - Yan117 "Almost a epic as my goatee" - OJR. So what happens? Fedor loses in the first round after being matched with a guy that seemed perfect for him to erase the "lucky-sub" by Fabricio Werdum, and before round 2 starts, you give your Champion 5 weeks notice for his second fight and proceed to cut him for opting to not fight and replace him with Daniel Cormier. Who? (I know, I know, but understand the context)
- 7/30/2011 Dan Henderson TKO's Fedor - blah, blah, quick stoppage, blah, blah, Fedor is a "never-was", blah, blah, GOAT. What is missed by almost everyone in the context of this fight is that both Fedor and Hendo fought their last fight under their current contracts with Strikeforce. Hendo is the reigning 205lb champion, and he doesn't have a contract. And he won't get one unless his pay is drastically reduced from the $800,000, per fight, he recieved from Scott Coker. Fedor is 99.9% likely to never fight for Zuffa for the myriad reasons that have been stated a myriad number of times...Vlad is greedy, blah, blah, M-1 sucks, blah, blah, Fedor is overrated, blah, blah, GOAT.
What we can see from this timeline is that Strikeforce currently has the same number of champions under contract (2) as vacated belts (2). The Heavyweight Grand Prix is in shambles. Arguably the 4 biggest draws in Nick Diaz, Alistair Overeem, Dan Henderson and Fedor (again...loosely) no longer work for the promotion. Strikeforce fighters are clamoring to fight in the octagon and are actively requesting fights in the UFC. Nothing has gone right for the promotion in 2011. The future seemed bright in February of this year and now the days couldn't be darker for Strikeforce. Unless your name is Dana White and your intention, all along, was "business as usual."