Monday, October 8, 2012

Reflections of... Strikeforce's last few weeks

The recent history of Strikeforce has ceertainly been one of bad news getting worse.

A few weeks back, Frank Mir, who had agreed to come over from UFC to face Daniel Cormier in Strikeforce's final heavyweight bout, got injured and had to pull out of his fight.

Around that same time, Strikeforce produced the second canceled show in Zuffa's history after Gilbert Melendez got hurt a week before his title defense. This decision, however, was made by Showtime, who felt that Strikeforce lacked any feasible depth and that it wasn't worth their time to show an event if Melendez wasn't on it.

Then, just a few days ago, the co-main event for the Cormier-Mir card – Middleweight Champion Luke Rockhold's title defense against Lorenz Larkin – had to be scrapped because the champion got injured. Meanwhile, UFC fighters left and right were refusing to move over to Strikeforce for a fight, which has made findinga replacement for Frank Mir incredibly difficult.

With all the madness that's occurred, it would be hard to imagine a worse situation for a company than Strikeforce, which has been the definitive "B" brand of Zuffa for a few years now. Heck, it's almost unfathomable that this company continues to exist.

Well, apparently someone else in a high place understands those facts as well. According to, it is now being rumored that the company will cease operations. Showtime supposedly wants out of the deal, and as Zuffa has proven, they will not run events if they aren't televised.

I can't say that I'm completely shocked by Showtime's reaction if scattered MMA sites are to be believed. One event has been canceled and another very clearly is in jeopardy if no big-name heavyweights step up to the plate.

The company has been forced to cycle through their champions one event at a time to make any type of headline fight. And with Rockhold and Melendez on the shelf, plus Welterweight Champion Nate Marquardt and Women's World Bantamweight Champion Ronda Rousey having nothing on the horizon, the realm of headliners isn't exactly workable.

Cormier, even if he finds an opponent, would be out of Strikeforce after this fight. The Light Heavyweight title hasn't even been discussed because the only worthwhile talent in the division is injured.

Admittedly, this seems like a perfect storm kind of situation, but the fact is, Zuffa has pretty much just used the company as a way to squeeze out a few more events per year and push Rousey to the moon.

Honestly, I kind of hope the company goes away after this next event. With injuries becoming a frequent problem in the UFC, the company could stand to keep all of Strikeforce's roster and use them to flesh out cards better.

Dana White wants to have Rousey in the Octagon as a special attraction? I say keep the whole division. Start building the division personally and maybe even use Invicta FC as a feeder to establish four more divisions.

And suddenly, there appears to be superfight opportunities. Rockhold, Melendez and Marquardt would be welcome challengers in the title pictures.

Although I have come to respect Strikeforce over the years, the positives outweigh the negatives here. If Showtime opts to end this agreement, it may be best for all involved.

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