MMA Access: How Long Can Strikeforce Survive?
Last Updated on Friday, 28 September 2012 10:09
Written by PunchDrunkGamer
Friday, 28 September 2012 10:09
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How Long Can Strikeforce Survive?
By Christopher “sLapDatSuCKa” Jester
Zuffa has enough on their hands while dealing with its biggest money maker, its UFC product, but they are now facing enough flak in its attempt to keep its Strikeforce brand alive. Losing money on canceling a UFC event is one thing but losing money on the Strikeforce brand that is not producing as much as it used to be is something else. It surely makes the fans wonder how long Strikeforce can hold out but it should make Zuffa wonder if this brand is worth keeping around at all.
From the beginning, Zuffa buying out Strikeforce always seemed like a tepid step. While it appeared like a smart move to buy-out the competition, it also appeared that Zuffa would be inheriting too many issues with the buy-out. One of the biggest issues was Dana White’s relationship with Showtime or with Ken Hershman in particular. It was a relationship that Dana White publicly admitted that he had his issues with but enough people believed that Zuffa could manage this shaky relationship like professionals.
As of right now, Strikeforce seems to be an afterthought in the MMA world. Ever since Zuffa bought Strikeforce, its name and significance has dwindled.
One of the biggest things hurting Strikeforce is that there are very few big name draws left on the organization’s roster. The UFC has absorbed most of Strikeforce’s notable stars. Now with nearly the entirety of Strikeforce’s heavyweight division in the UFC, that leaves very few popular fighters. Strikeforce’s biggest male star is Gilbert Melendez, and the recent cancellation of Strikeforce: Melendez vs. Healy goes to show that if a huge name is injured and cannot compete, Strikeforce’s broadcasting host Showtime will not risk broadcasting the event.
The last remaining name that Strikeforce can draw from would be the polarizing Ronda Rousey. But is she even enough to save Strikeforce? Not likely. With attendance as low as it has been for Strikeforce, even a Rousey-hyped event would likely to barely perform but perhaps Zuffa knows this already. Rousey and UFC President Dana White have been seen together in what appears to be a makeshift tour promoting Ronda Rousey. As of late, Dana White has changed his stance on women’s MMA and he admits primarily that is due to Rousey. If Zuffa was to fold the Strikeforce brand, would they would be willing to let Rousey go over to the all-women promotion Invicta FC? Not likely, her name is entirely too big for Zuffa to lose and she is a major draw.
Very few eyes are watching Strikeforce’s future because it appears like the inevitable is eventually going to happen. The real question is, just how long will Strikeforce survive? It is already on its last leg, and cancelling events is not going to help at all. The most fruitful option seems to be to shutdown Strikeforce altogether, and absorb the rest of Strikeforce’s roster into the UFC; including the women’s divisions but only time will tell if Zuffa is ready to put the last nail in what appears to be Strikeforce’s coffin.
Follow Christopher “sLapDatSuCKa” Jester on Twitter @sLapDatSuCka
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