By now you should know that the UFC, or more accurately their parent company Zuffa, have purchased their major rival Strikeforce (if not read more here), but Dana White has said that the two promotions won’t be merging. Instead it’ll be, “business as usual,” and the contracts for both Strikeforce’s fighters and staff will be honored.
That’s all well and good, but what’s really going on behind what White is willing to divulge on-camera?
In essence the purchase of Strikeforce is no different than what the UFC has done with other major competitors like PRIDE and the WEC who were both eventually merged into the UFC.
The catch on this occasion is that Strikeforce are currently locked into a deal with Showtime for what’s believed to be around another two years. That ties the UFC’s hands to an extent, meaning that they can’t just decide to merge the two promotion’s right away.
So, for the time being Zuffa will run the two promotion’s ‘as is’ and will be able to make money from Strikeforce, which produced $30 million in revenue during the past year while the Showtime deal runs it’s course.
If existing Strikeforce talent’s deals finish within that period then the UFC will be in the perfect position to sign them without fear of serious competition, and meanwhile if fighters are cut from the UFC they are now more likely to be picked up by Strikeforce.
Once the Showtime deal is up then things will get very interesting indeed. There is a chance that Strikeforce could be kept on as a ‘feeder league’ for the UFC, but given that they never had that inclination with either PRIDE or the WEC, it’s hard to imagine that will be the case here.
Instead a merger similar to those we’ve seen in the past is then likely to take place, and MMA will finally have all of it’s major stars competing under the one roof.
- UFC – Strikeforce Buyout At A Glance: What You Need To Know
- Paul Daley Reacts Angrily To The UFC’s Buyout Of Strikeforce
- Strikeforce’s Dan Henderson Leaves Door Open For Return To The UFC