When Zuffa, LLC, the parent company of the Ultimate Fighting Championship, acquired Strikeforce this past March, most believed the UFC would quickly try to erase the organization from the MMA landscape like they have previous promotions they had purchased.
However, with an extension with Showtime hanging in the balance, UFC president Dana White (Pictured) stepped in to ensure the deal would close. During today’s press conference, White revealed they are finally dotting the i’s and crossing the t’s on a new contract with the premium cable network.
“[Strikeforce is] staying and hopefully I’ll have all the information for you next week,” White confidently stated. “I know I keep saying this every week, but that deal should be wrapped up any day now, and then I’ll make the decisions on who goes where and what’s going to happen. So we should know hopefully by Monday.”
You will decide? What about Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker?
While Coker’s involvement with the organization wasn’t clarified, it’s apparent his role has diminished significantly since selling the company to Zuffa, and even more so when White emerged in October to spearhead discussions with Showtime.
Coker often provides vague responses when asked about Strikeforce’s future, as he did throughout Tuesday’s conference call, while White makes confident proclamations on the company’s fate.
“Just sit and wait and watch what I do,” White professed. “Trust me, it’s going to be just fine. Like I said last time I talked to you guys about this, I’m getting into this and I’m going to handle it. Watch and see.”
Of Strikeforce’s five men’s titles, only the lightweight (Gilbert Melendez) and middleweight (Luke Rockhold) belts currently have owners. Nick Diaz (welterweight), Dan Henderson (light heavyweight) and Alistair Overeem (heavyweight) all abandoned their crowns and transferred to the UFC for various contractual reasons.