Clearly, Strikeforce brass left the the BankAtlantic Center in Sunrise, Florida last weekend quite satisfied with their “Strikeforce: Miami” event. Despite their success, UFC president Dana White reiterates that the San Jose-based promotion is nothing more than MMA’s minor leagues.
“Strikeforce is a lower-level show where younger fighters and guys who aren’t fighting in the UFC can go and make some money,” White matter-of-factly stated at the UFC 109 pre-fight press conference. “It will never be anything else — ever.”
White did admit that, although his plate is full with this weekend’s UFC 109 event at the Mandalay Bay Event Center in Las Vegas, he just can’t seem to get his bitter rivals out of his mind.
“I worry about Strikeforce all the time,” White sarcastically said of the countless nights MMA’s junior varsity program has kept him up.
However, White wasn’t a complete hater as the brash Prez took the time to give props to former Heisman Trophy winner Herschel Walker for his less than spectacular mixed martial arts debut against an even less spectacular Greg Nagy last Saturday.
“He’s one of the greatest athletes ever,” White said of the 47-year-old. “He’s not one of these former NFL guys who blew up and weighs 400 pounds. He took care of himself. Do you want me to take him seriously in this sport? I can’t. What’s he ever going to accomplish? The guy he fought had no athletic ability, no stand-up, no ground.”
Obviously, this isn’t the first time White has bashed his MMA counterparts. As recently as last August, the modern day Don King referred to his rivals as “Strikefarce” after they were able to sign top MMA free agent Fedor Emelianenko, something the UFC and Co. have not been able to do.
“He’ll put them out of business,” White stated after the signing. “They have no money. These guys have no money and they have no distribution. Four (expletive) people watch Showtime. You know how many people watch their fights? Their last fight – 245,000 people watched that fight (on Showtime). That’s nothing.
“They should have stayed the way they were!”
At this point in time, if not forever, White is correct in stating the UFC is the standard when it comes to MMA. However, “Strikeforce: Miami” surprisingly turned out to be an exciting night of fights and with an impending CBS show in April, Strikeforce is clearly doing all they can to try and chip away at the UFC’s monopoly.
Best of luck …