If you were to ask UFC president Dana White (Pictured), which we did following Thursday’s press conference in Las Vegas, Showtime really stuck it to Strikeforce and its athletes before finally deciding to pull the plug on the MMA promotion.
“What has happened to the fighters in Strikeforce is horrible,” White stated. “The way that this thing went down and what’s happened with these guys, and these guys have been very patient. I feel sorry for them and I’m just happy they are coming to the UFC now.
“What’s happened over there has been completely [expletive].”
After helping Strikeforce finalize an extension with Showtime just 13 months ago, White promised to be more hands-on with the UFC’s little brother. However, after Showtime turned a deaf ear to several of White’s production suggestions, he took himself completely out of the mix.
That’s why White refrained from discussing Strikeforce in detail, but it was clear he holds plenty of resentment towards Showtime.
“I literally took myself out of this thing 100 percent,” White said. “I have nothing to do with it. Obviously, big picture stuff I’m involved in and I’m involved in pieces and parts that I want to be involved in.”
White did, however, clear up some loose ends regarding Strikeforce. For starters, their January 12th event will in fact be its last. The original press release was quite vague, stating it was Strikeforce’s final show on Showtime. In addition, White is unsure what Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker’s future holds.
Furthermore, what White was hellbent on clearing up was that Zuffa never intended to erase Strikeforce from the MMA landscape when it purchased the UFC’s largest stateside rival in March 2011.
“I see a lot of [expletive] on the internet and stuff, ‘Oh, I see what’s gonna happen. They bought it to bury it,’ and all that stuff. Any of you guys who were around me during that time, that was absolutely not the plan,’ White expressed. “I was pumped up about it and looking forward to get into it, but, it’s over, man. I’m just happy it’s over.
“None of the companies that we bought were perfect except for the WEC. The WEC was great, a great move, great transition, everything worked out great with that. But all the other ones, they were what they were.”
There you have it. After 61 events spanning over seven years, Strikeforce will officially be yesterday’s news. And the curtain couldn’t have dropped any sooner for White.