Muscle Sport Magazine

UFC Purchasing Strikeforce Was An Inevitable MMA Merger

Although the announcement was a mild surprise, the purchase of Strikeforce by Zuffa, LLC (the parent company of the UFC) is hardly a shock. Perhaps the timing seems a little odd, with Strikeforce trying to create a buzz with their Grand Prox Heavyweight Tournament that began last month in New Jersey. But when one factors in that the two biggest names on the opening card (Fedor Elemianenko and Andrei Arlovski) were eliminated, perhaps Strikeforce realized that it was a losing battle.

Zuffa has already swallowed up PRIDE and WEC and Strikeforce was their closest rival, if you will. Both employed big name fighters and some have crossed over both ways, but the UFC is considered the gold standard of the fledging sport. Competition keeps everyone on their toes, but the UFC has been able to not only integrate these former organizations into their ranks, but do so in a strategic manner to keep great interest abound.

According Dana White, this merger will be different than the others, as Strikeforce will remain as is – for the time being. The UFC president told, “Strikeforce is going to continue to run business as usual. There are contracts in place. These guys are on Showtime. Strikeforce pulls good ratings for Showtime. I think Showtime is happy with them. All those contracts will be honored. These guys are going to remain Strikeforce fighters.

“Could guys in the UFC leave and end up in Strikeforce? Yeah.”


That last part of White’s statement is the most interesting and leaves many doors open for what the fans have coined ‘super fights’ between the elite in both organizations. White has been enamored with Fedor and hasn’t exactly been shy about that. But he also said that will not occur with the purchase of Strikeforce and that all contracts will be unaffected. But an interesting scenario would be when a fighter’s deal is up and a perfect fight is waiting to be announced. Because they are basically the same company now, short term deals may be used to put together match-ups that everyone wants to see.

Of course this is all speculation and we will have to wait and see how this unfolds. But the official announcement will come on Monday of the purchase. Mike Afromowitz of Srikeforce added, “Right now the plan is to operate on our own,” he told the AP. “Business as usual.”

Strikeforce has been operating as a MMA organization since 2006 and their contract with Showtime expires in early 2012. Expect that to be when Strikeforce will cease as a separate organization. A similar circumstance occurred when Zuffa purchased WEC and merged them with the UFC at the beginning of this year when their television contract with Versus ran out.

Photo by Sam Baretto

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