Friday, 18 March 2011

Game changed: UFC parent company buys Strikeforce

Zuffa, the parent company who owns UFC, bought Strikeforce, the UFC's biggest competitor. This isn't their first acquisition, as Zuffa purchased and absorbed Pride Fighting Championships as well as World Extreme Cagefighting. However, the plan is to continue operating as two, separate promotions.

UFC president Dana White did an extensive interview with MMA Fighting's Ariel Helwani on the subject.

White mentions several times that business will continue as usual. That means that Strikeforce's April 9 event will go on without any changes. Much like before the WEC merged with the UFC, fighters won't fight for both promotions, and Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker will continue to run that promotion.

Strikeforce has contracts with Showtime to provide fights. White has mocked Showtime's involvement in MMA, and has contentious relationships with Strikeforce fighters like Paul Daley and Josh Barnett, as well as other employees like commentator Frank Shamrock. Because of that, White says he doubts that he will visit a Strikeforce show any time soon. He also has kept his hard line against co-promoting shows, so don't expect to see Fedor Emelianenko in the Octagon. The Russian superstar only appears at shows co-promoted by his company, M-1, and that stance isn't likely to change.

It's too early to say exactly what this means for MMA's future, but rest assured that it's a game changer. Things changed so quickly that just hours after the story broke, the UFC's official twitter promoted that tickets were on sale for Strikeforce: Diaz vs. Daley.

What do you think of the UFC's big purchase? Tell us in the comments or on Facebook.


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