That tweet from the UFC's official Twitter account was the first of what is sure to be many surreal instances of the UFC promoting a Strikeforce event now that they've purchased the competing organization. But one of the competitors in that particular April 9 fight isn't very happy with today's news.
Paul Daley was released from the UFC in 2010 after sucker-punching Josh Koscheck following his loss at UFC 113, with UFC President Dana White saying Daley would never again fight in the UFC. He reiterated that stance when talking to Ariel Helwani at MMAFighting.com about Zuffa's purchase of Strikeforce, but stated Daley's deal with Strikeforce would be honored.
However, now Daley has come out and said he's not sure if he'll be taking the fight on April 9 with Nick Diaz now that this news has come out. Here's Daley on his Facebook page:
"Business as usual, what if i dont wanna fight for DANA WHITE/ZUFFA?......Dana white bans me for life from the UFC, Then buys STRIKEFORCE, and thinks im still gonna be EASY and fight on one of the most anticipated fights of the year (vs Diaz)? Which will no doubt make ZUFFA/Dana White money.
Daley vs Diaz still on?.....Someone better holla at my manager real quick."
He followed that up with a couple of posts on The Underground forum, stating he's not sure what he's going to do.
"Not sure what im gonna do right now, honestly... fight for the Strikeforce and be Strikeforce champ, put money in ZUFFA/Dana Whites pockets? Or fight here in the UK for BAMMA, who appreciate my brand, and have my loyal fans, family and media support me. For real."
"I have a great deal at BAMMA(.com) and make just as much money, believe or not...as i do in the USA. They appreciate my services, and what i bring to the company. There is till alot of competition out there, NOT all the best fighters are with the UFC/STRIKEFORCE, just they get the most recognition."
There could be some immediate consequences to this announcement from the UFC, and we'll see over the next several days whether Daley pulls himself out of this fight.
Penick's Analysis: Daley taking himself out of this fight because of the UFC's purchase of Strikeforce is a terrible move. He's continued to show zero remorse for his actions last year and he's taken no responsibility for them. His reaction has been "f*** them" and this would further that. He's made no attempts to repair the bridge he burned, and pulling out of this fight would do even more damage to the relationships he still has in North America. Obviously he might not care about that at this point, but it's a mistake to burn those bridges even further.