Yesterday I wrote an article asking whether Strikeforce had dropped the ball after they appeared to move away from the idea of holding a tournament to establish a new middleweight champion, and instead opted for a title fight between ‘Jacare’ Souza and Tim Kennedy.
Today more information has emerged about the circumstances leading up to the decision. According to mmafighting.com the plan was for a four-man tournament featuring the aforementioned Jacare and Kennedy along with Robbie Lawler and Matt Lindland.
Further to that the idea was for this to be a one night arrangement meaning two of the fighters would fight twice in one night. That decision appears to have been the stumbling block with the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation refusing to allow that to take place at August’s Strikeforce: Houston event.
Yesterday I said I was confused by Strikeforce’s decision to go with just a title fight, and today I’m still left puzzled by their decision making.
The original talk was of an eight or sixteen man tournament spread out over several events, and that’s what seemed to be generating enthusiasm from MMA fans.
Personally I feel like four-man tournaments are generally a cop-out – with DREAM’s current Light-heavyweight grand-prix being a prime example. It was also originally supposed to be much larger but financial difficulties forced them into making it much smaller and as a result it’s failed to capture fans imaginations.
A one-night tournament would certainly have generated interest thanks to the novelty factor, but it was always going to be tough to get sanctioned and it just seemed to make sense for them to make it larger and spread it out over multiple events.
Hopefully Strikeforce haven’t entirely given up on the idea of some kind of tournament structure in the future, but I really feel like they’ve missed out on the perfect time to make it a reality here.