It hasn’t been officially announced yet, but the word backstage at Saturday night’s UFC 140 event is that Strikeforce will continue to exist into next year and beyond, and that has some major implications for some of the promotion’s biggest stars.
Strikeforce lightweight champion Gilbert Melendez will defend his title this coming weekend in what many had believed would be his last fight before making the switch to the UFC, with Dana White having made it clear in the past couple of months that he wanted to pair him up with UFC lightweight kingpin Frankie Edgar.
White has been involved in extensive talks with Showtime regarding a new deal for Strikeforce since then however, and he now appears to have changed his tune entirely and now expects fighters like Melendez to stay put.
“Gilbert Melendez and all the guys that are in the Strikeforce show and with Showtime, I will make this right, they will be happy to be there,” White told reporters on Saturday night. “Believe me. I’ve got this thing worked out. It’s going to be good for everybody.”
From the sounds of things that means that those who have already made the jump, such as Nick Diaz, Alistair Overeem and Dan Henderson did so just in time.
Despite White’s assurances that he’ll “make this right”, big name fighters like Melendez, Josh Barnett, Tim Kennedy, ‘Jacare’ Souza and ‘King Mo’ Lawal who have shown a real interest in crossing over may well be feeling disappointed by how things are now panning out, particularly as they watch the aforementioned fighters making a big splash on the sport’s biggest stage.