Over this past weekend Dana White told the media that the fate of Strikeforce is in Showtime’s hands and not Zuffa’s. Now not knowing if that is a cop-out on Zuffa’s side is anybody’s guess, but in a month their fate is going to be decided. Making the full transition in 2006 from kickboxing, Strikeforce has had their up and downs but since the purchase of the company by Zuffa, has made a 180 degree turn.
You can say the clock is ticking on Showtime and if they want to extend the contract of Strikeforce they have "the ball in their court". Here are 3 reasons why Strikeforce should be extended into the near future on the channel it’s been on since 2008.
With the Strikeforce Challengers cards the fighters just getting into MMA and trying to make a name for them is a great way to see the future talent in the sport. Since the early cards of the Challengers you have the likes of Miesha Tate, Sarah Kaufman, Ryan Couture, and Pat Healy. These fighters at one time all come in as a rookie to the sport and what a better way to show their talents but a big stage like Showtime.
Each of the fighters I named have now become stars in their own way and continue to climb that mountain of becoming champion and Tate is the current Woman’s Champion. It’s all about getting the start these fighters need and the feedback from the Challengers shows has been quite exceptional. Many MMA fans like to watch the young and new crop of fighters on the big stage, seeing how they react to what the current rosters members deal with on a monthly basis. It’s a great test for them and the fights bring that little extra that draws in fans.
This has been a topic for years now with Zuffa and in particular the UFC bringing in woman if Strikeforce is indeed eliminated. Dana White over the weekend answered a question about the women and he said “There aren’t enough women to make a complete division. Sure you can do fights here and there but we would like to have a division.” Point taken from UFC’s stand point and if that’s the company’s business strategy then so be it. With Strikeforce however they can definitely take this opportunity, and explore the possibilities for Woman in MMA.
Sure there are plenty of smaller cards across America that has females fighting, but as the sport grows it seems the women are getting left in the rear view mirror. It’s tough for them to solidify a spot in any sport, and with basketball and hockey finally giving the recognition, MMA shouldn’t be any different. If Strikeforce decides to extend the contract this is a perfect time for Zuffa to go out and scout for future woman fighters and possibly put a division together in the UFC. I know it’s low on their priority list but there has been more of a female push as of late and why not let the females get the same accolades the other’s get in the sport.
The owners of Showtime Sports have said little about MMA and Stikeforce in general. That may look like bad precedent in the eyes of many but on the other hand I’m sure they are discussing things behind closed doors. I think Zuffa is waiting for Showtime to show a little more support towards Strikeforce and MMA.
The crowd in Cincinatti was a dismal 3000 followers which didn’t bode well for why the contract should be extended. I think if Showtime commits to MMA a little more than they have, I’m sure Zuffa will pump the advertising to get higher numbers not only at events, but on TV as well.
Within a month the fate of the Strikeforce Company will be decided. Even though some roster members have signed with the UFC there is still plenty of talent left to continue on as a separate identity. The reasons listed are the biggest to keep the company around and give the fans another reason to watch and support MMA.