Monday, August 1, 2011

The End of Strikeforce?

A short trip back home to Chicago over the weekend provided me with some great things: a chance to see my baby cousins get baptized, food that didn’t come from a cardboard box and most importantly, a place to watch Showtime.  Saturday night I was able to watch Henderson-Fedor and I came away with one thought as Herb Dean stepped in to save the "the Last Emporer"
Does Strikeforce have as much of a chance of staying relevant as Fedor does in regaining his glory?
Strikeforce always knew it was second fiddle to the UFC, which was made even more evident when Zuffa bought them.  SF always had a couple things going for them though.  They built up a solid heavyweight division and hoped to have a Grand Prix.  They also became the go-to organization for women’s MMA.  And they had the one name the UFC could never sign in Fedor.
But, the Grand Prix has lost its luster due to Fedor’s exit in the first round and recently cutting what some people think is the world’s number one heavyweight.  SF has also lost their two largest names in women’s in MMA because no one wants to fight Cyborg and Gina Carano is off becoming a movie star. 
Now, Fedor has lost three in a row, their best fighter has gone over to the UFC and lost their most intriguing heavyweight, what does promotion really offer?

Coker should be scared about his future, homie
Quick question, name the male Strikeforce champions… 
The answer would be:
LW: Gilbert Melendez
WW: Nick Diaz
MW: Ronaldo Souza
LHW: Dan Henderson
HW: Allistair Overeem

Effectively, SF has three vacant championships.  Diaz and Overeem are no longer with the organization and Henderson is a free agent after beating Fedor over the weekend.  Melendez is must see and definitely could do damage in the UFC but the average fan probably doesn’t know and isn’t paying money to see Souza.
The UFC’s plan was to originally keep SF on its own until the end of 2012 but I don’t think it can last that long.  I like the Challenger series because it gives up and coming fighters a showcase along with Bellator.  But with champions leaving and other top competitors already crossing over to the UFC, there are far too many question marks surrounding the organization for it to remain economically viable.