Looks like Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) President Dana White is going to bury the "Business as usual" punchline the mixed martial arts community has so lovingly embraced over the past 10 months.
That's because White has declared that the Strikeforce promotion, gobbled up by the ZUFFA zealots back in March of this year, is "here to stay" as the UFC finalizes a television deal "any day now."
From MMA Fighting:
"It's staying. Just sit and wait and watch what I do. Trust me, it's going to be just fine. Like I said last time I talked to you guys about this, I'm getting into this and I'm going to handle it. Watch and see. We'll see what happens. I know I keep saying this every week, but that deal should be wrapped up any day now, and then I'll make the decisions on who goes where and what's going to happen. So we should know hopefully by Monday."
Most fans expected ZUFFA to fold Strikeforce into the UFC, much like it did with World Extreme Cagefighting (WEC) earlier this year, and it's hard to envision a scenario where it remains a separate promotion after its contract with Showtime expires.
But then again, stranger things have happened, especially in this sport.
Strikeforce will bring its "Melendez vs. Masvidal" event to the Showtime airwaves a week from Saturday (Dec. 17, 2011) and has already booked its next show, titled "Rockhold vs. Jardine," for the Hard Rock in Las Vegas, Nevada, on Jan. 7, 2012.
There's also some unfinished business in the heavyweight division, as Daniel Cormier and Josh Barnett are still expected to slug it out for the right to be called Grand Prix Champion early next year.
Will it be on Showtime? Or does White have another trick up his sleeve?
Alright Maniacs, let's hear some predictions. Is Strikeforce going to hang around and if it does, what's the best way to utilize it?