by Kevin Haggerty on Jan 8, 2012 7:00 PM EST in Strikeforce Results
Love the article, as it is very poignant in this stage of the game. However, I think you’re asking the wrong question. The question that should be asked is "What’s next for Strikeforce?"
There is a reason why we need to think of this question in more general terms, as the question will arise as champions become tenured in the Strikeforce ranks.
Should Luke Rockhold or Gilbert Melendez continue to win and become the faces of their respective Strikeforce weight classes, they may start to suffer from Fedor-ism … as in they are portrayed as being the best without fighting the best.
They are also being left behind, as the Strikeforce heavyweight roster is being absorbed into that of the UFC. This is needed to focus on the existing business and allow for some variety, specifically weight classes that have a glut of talent and for the women’s divisions to have some necessary airtime.
So what is next for Strikeforce? Since I’m the one emailing, that probably means I have a suggestion, and it’s a bit of a wild one.
Strikeforce needs to admit that it will always play second fiddle to the UFC. It will be the farm team to the professionals, while building the next generation or letting the old guard have some final fights that they can win.
However, if Strikeforce does admit to always being the second best MMA brand out there … will fighters feel like they are lesser than their UFC counterparts? The answer is probably. This is the same situation WEC was in before the full amalgamations, where the 155 pound fighters had not proven themselves the UFC’s shark infested waters. Hindsight being 20-20, there were a few sharks in the WEC.
Once Strikeforce admits to feeding the UFC, it needs to set itself up for success at providing the best it has to offer. Therefore what’s next for Strikeforce is a change in structure to ensure that the fighters absolutely know how to get to the UFC. This assists the matchmakers in making easier decisions, but binds them as well.
I’ve gone as far as to have a format ready to go, but this does not apply to the women’s division since there is no UFC equivalent at this time. This was written in the ‘spur of the moment’, so don’t take this as gospel. It’s more like the Pirate code … they are more like guidelines … and only meant as a way for Strikeforce to systematically generate the stars of tomorrow with the promise of promotion to the UFC.
Proposal for the Strikeforce Directive
For Strikeforce Contracted fighters who do not hold a title:
1. If a fighter has 4 consecutive wins under the Strikeforce brand, they will be entitled to fight for their divisional championship.
a. Should two or more fighters meet the requirements when a title fight is to be scheduled, the #1 contender will be determined at the matchmakers’.
b. Should no fighter meet these requirements, then the matchmakers should look for the next best candidate.
For Strikeforce contracted fighters who are Champions:
2. If a fighter can successfully win in 5 Championship fights, they should be offered a UFC contract. However, additional conditions may apply.
a. 5 Championship fights would be considered winning the title, and then defending 4 times.
b. A Champion is required to fight at least two (2) times per year, pending injuries.
c. If a Champion is unable meet the above requirements, a new champion will be crowned.
i. Should clause 2.b ever be activated, the affected fighter should be entitled to a title fight upon their return to combat.
d. If a Champion has obtained 4 wins in Championship competition and then loses. He would be entitled to an immediate rematch.
I know this might be challenging the norm, but that’s what I think Strikeforce needs most;
To be 100% transparent as to their purpose and long term goal in the MMA business.
PS. Please forgive any formatting woes, as it's my first post via sbnation.