Word is today emerging of a major cull by Zuffa of fighters affiliated with the ‘Golden Glory’ camp, home of the recently released Alistair Overeem.
Some of the names released today won’t come as too much of a surprise – Strikeforce’s Valentijn Overeem looks like a fighter that’s well past his best, while the UFC’s Jon Olav Einemo didn’t look a world-beater in his heavyweight debut recently.
One fighter who’s removal is a shock however is former Strikeforce woman’s 135lb champion Marloes Coenen. Though she lost her title to Miesha Tate on Saturday night she’s still one of the most recognizable faces in woman’s MMA, and one of the most talented and likeable to boot, having successfully defended her belt twice during her run in Strikeforce.
At this stage it’s not clear why they would have made this decision, but on the surface it appears however that Zuffa and Golden Glory have fallen out and the likes of Coenen have now become caught up in the crossfire.
Whatever the reason it’s a major blow both to Strikeforce, who are already reeling from the news of their heavyweight champion Alistair Overeem’s dismissal, and to woman’s MMA, with this latest move adding weight to the general feeling that behind-the-scenes there’s little interest from Zuffa to keep the female end of the sport running in the long term and that it’ll be gradually phased out.
The question now is whether this was purely Zuffa’s call, or if Golden Glory forced their hand in retaliation for how the situation with Overeem was handled.
As it stands the promotion have not commented on the situation, while Golden Glory’s Martin De Jong commented on twitter that he was “very disappointed” by the news.