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Muscle Sport Magazine

MSM Exclusive: Royce Gracie, Dan Severn, Keith Jardine Speak Up on UFC/Strikeforce Deal

THIS IS A MUSCLE SPORT MAGAZINE EXCLUSIVE: Some of the big names in the MMA community have spoken their minds on the recent purchase by Zuffa, LLC (the parent company of the UFC) of Strikeforce, and they chose to make their feelings known to MuscleSport Mag and only MuscleSport Mag.

Royce Gracie, a UFC Hall of Famer and early pioneer of the sport of mixed martial arts, told us, “I think in the long run this could be a good thing. Strikeforce was doing a great job on their own and now with the marketing power of the UFC behind them, only (the) sky is the limit.”

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Back in 1994, Gracie earned the UFC 4 championship by defeating Dan Severn, a much larger foe who was lethal on the mat. But after nearly 16 minutes, Gracie was able to get the Greco-Roman and freestyle wrestler to submit via a triangle choke. According to Severn (a fellow UFC Hall of Famer and MuscleSport Magazine staff writer), he feels that the crossover market will benefit from the merger.

“I’m hoping the contracts in place will play out,” ‘The Beast’ said. “It would be interesting to see Herschel Walker, Bobby Lashley and Batista in the UFC.” (At this time, Batista has only been rumored to be joining Strikeforce.)

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Even active fighters have an opinion on this subject, as Keith “The Dean of Mean” Jardine attests to. “I really think that it could be a positive thing,” the light heavyweight said. “It seems like everything the UFC touches turns to gold. So hopefully they will make Strikeforce a stronger promotion. Then they could employ more fighters and have more shows. With the sport growing the way it is, there are going to be a lot more top quality fighters, too many for the UFC.

“So I would say that I’m optimistic right now.”

Jardine’s optimism may be an understatement. Having all of the world’s greatest MMA fighters under the same umbrella can only bring more positive attention to a sport that is on the cusp of being top dog.

Photo Courtesy of Dan Severn

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