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UFC buys Strikeforce


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I know there are some MMA fans here on the boards, there was a huge announcement that happened....

http://www.mixedmartialarts.com/news/309456/Parent-company-of-the-UFC-Zuffa-LLC-purchases-Strikeforce/

Parent company of the UFC, Zuffa LLC, purchases Strikeforce

I know the UFC/WEC merger was a big deal, but honestly.... This came out of nowhere. I'm in complete shock. So what could this mean for the future of MMA?

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It's hard to say what this means for MMA. White has said in articles and videos posted on the Internet that it will be "business as usual" — that Strikeforce will continue to operate as a separate entity, much like World Extreme Cagefighting did between being bought by UFC in 2006 and being absorbed into the mothership in 2010.

It could wind up being something of a farm team for UFC, with some of the bigger names finding their way to UFC cards, though I would hope that wouldn't happen, unless somehow they want the whole thing to fail. One of those big names could be Fedor Emilianenko, although I can't see White and his managers ever seeing eye-to-eye.

One thing that seems to be certain, though, is that it will mean increased exposure for Strikeforce and their fighters, especially in their women's divisions. It might be slow in coming as they wait for existing contracts to expire before the full force of UFC's clout can be put into use, but it's likely to happen.

EDIT: Don't think for a second, though, that this gives UFC a monopoly on mixed martial arts in North America. There are a ton of smaller promotions — Edmonton-based Maximum Fighting Championship is the first that comes to mind — with skilled, charismatic fighters who are more than willing and able to step into the void Strikeforce may leave behind.

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The UFC is to MMA much like the NFL is to football. It's the preeminent orgainsation in the sport. It has taken longer than I had thought, but it has gotten to that point. People would unconsciously say UFC in place of MMA.

Oh, I remember a time when the UFC just started with the promos from all sorts of disciplines, even sumo, and fighters like Ken Shamrock and Royce Gracie and one Arizona senator would refer to it as human cockfighting.

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This is more about Strikeforce's ownership being in desperate trouble and needing to get out than it is about Zuffa seeing a gold mine in Strikeforce. When Zuffa bought PRIDE back in the day, it was about cementing its place as top dog in a crowded market. Now, it's just about snapping up what's left of the competition, and there really isn't much left. Strikeforce was essentially to UFC as TNA is to WWE- a couple of big names but no brand recognition from casual observers, they ran almost all of their shows out of one arena (that they owned), and were never a major concern.

It was only a matter of time before they went out of business, especially after Fedor's two losses. Fedor's luster is almost gone now, and that's a deathblow. Zuffa was very smart to never play ball with M1 Global- as soon as you admit that one fighter is bigger than your whole brand, you've sun yourself. Strikeforce might have the better heavyweight division than UFC (only by a small margin, that gap has narrowed a LOT in the last year) and the unique women's division, but it was still all about Fedor. And just as EliteXC folded within days of Kimbo Slice losing his first fight, this was bound to happen when Fedor came back down to earth.

I find the timing very interesting for Zuffa, considering they just eliminated an extra brand in WEC to put all of the focus on the UFC brand. I assume they will hold onto the Strikeforce brand as long as is required to fulfill contractual obligations, and then we will see it go the way of PRIDE and WEC. There's no real benefit to promoting two world champions in the same weight classes or diluting the UFC name by promoting another brand at all.

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It's hard to say what this means for MMA. White has said in articles and videos posted on the Internet that it will be "business as usual" ? that Strikeforce will continue to operate as a separate entity, much like World Extreme Cagefighting did between being bought by UFC in 2006 and being absorbed into the mothership in 2010.

It could wind up being something of a farm team for UFC, with some of the bigger names finding their way to UFC cards, though I would hope that wouldn't happen, unless somehow they want the whole thing to fail. One of those big names could be Fedor Emilianenko, although I can't see White and his managers ever seeing eye-to-eye.

One thing that seems to be certain, though, is that it will mean increased exposure for Strikeforce and their fighters, especially in their women's divisions. It might be slow in coming as they wait for existing contracts to expire before the full force of UFC's clout can be put into use, but it's likely to happen.

EDIT: Don't think for a second, though, that this gives UFC a monopoly on mixed martial arts in North America. There are a ton of smaller promotions ? Edmonton-based Maximum Fighting Championship is the first that comes to mind ? with skilled, charismatic fighters who are more than willing and able to step into the void Strikeforce may leave behind.

I've seen some of the stuff MFC does, it's a great unknown to MMA, I saw some fights on YouTube & was impressed. Not only that, I recently got into Bellator, I do like the idea of tournaments & the winner gets the champion of that weight class.

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