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UFC: We're not a monopoly, we just crush a lot

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Former Elite XC boss Gary Shaw says it is. Former Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker says it isn't.

After nearly three months of closed door negotiations, Coker was able to find a suitable buyer for his San Jose-based fight promotion after his investors expressed an interest in getting out of the fight game and back to the business of ice hockey.

UFC President Dana White shocked the MMA world back on March 12 when he revealed that Zuffa, parent company of Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), was the proud new owner of what was widely considered the world's number two fight promotion.

If you're a fighter looking to make a career out of MMA, that leaves you very few choices when it comes to earning a living. Sure, you can compete at any one of the dozens of regional promotions across the country, but be prepared to hold a second (or third) job to support yourself.

Does that constitute a monopoly? White presents his side to USA Today:

"People always say 'monopoly.' The people who say that don't know enough about the sport. … If you go state to state and called the athletic commission in every state where we're sanctioned and ask them how many MMA events were held there this year and how many times did the UFC come, the answer is going to be once or zero. We're not a monopoly. We're just the best. We do what we do the best."

While both Strikeforce and UFC continue to operate as separate entities, most of the MMA community expects Zuffa to eventually merge the brands much like it did with World Extreme Cagefighting (WEC) earlier this year.

Zuffa maintains the acquisition was not made as a "defensive maneuver" against rival investors like ProElite, but to grow the current roster and improve their position as they enter a global expansion.

Global expansion equals more opportunities for mixed martial artists -- just be ready to play by their rules.

With approximately 140 fighters under contract to Strikeforce, most fans want to know how quickly they can expect to see the best from both promotions get inside the cage and settle a couple of longstanding disputes, namely, who is the world's best fighter in each weight class.

Our first taste begins at UFC 137 on Oct. 29 when former Strikeforce Welterweight Champion Nick Diaz returns to the Octagon to battle division title-holder Georges St. Pierre.

One down, how many to go?

The counter argument to that, is Strikeforce continues to add talent to its roster, as evidenced by its recent signing of undefeated light heavyweight Marcos Rogerio de Lima.

Does Strikeforce have an expiration date? And can the UFC be considered a monopoly with promotions like Bellator, MFC, DREAM and now ProElite getting back into the fight game?

Where do you stand on this debate, Maniacs?

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