Monday, 19 December 2011
The Future of Strikeforce and Silva's Final Fight
Is Strikeforce the UFC's graveyard? Let's hope not.
We've been told by UFC owners Zuffa that 2012 will be the year in which they transform Strikeforce - but why?
In reality you cannot have two premier MMA promotions directed by the same company. It won't work, ultimately because UFC is far more dominant.
On Saturday night, Strikeforce Lightweight Champion Gilbert Melendez defeated Jorge Masvidal in a potent performance. This lead to people asking again "who's next?" for Melendez. Personally, I think he needs to jump over to the UFC whilst he's on top form and take on some of the tougher boys in the lightweight division - not to say Melendez's previous opponents haven't been, but UFC offers the most elite fighters.
Often, fighters either cut from the UFC drop down to Strikeforce to build up their fight record and prove themselves they are the fighters they claim to be. That's the good thing about Strikeforce and UFC being co-owned by Zuffa. However, you can't run a company on fighters main-eventing with a 8-8 record and then have something as huge as the UFC taking in all the best there is to offer. Strikeforce will eventually be forgotten about.
There are plenty of fighters in Strikeforce right now who would make exceptional additions to the UFC. Nick Diaz and Alistair Overeem have already made the transition and have/are already headlining pay-per views. To me, Strikeforce seems like it will end up a dead-end street for MMA fighters. If you want to be a fighter and take on the best, you need to be in the UFC. Not it's sister company. Don't get me wrong, SF have some fantastic bouts, but from a business point of view, is it really worth keeping alive? Pull the plug, maybe.
In some more upbeat news, Dana White has hinted that he would like to see Georges St. Pierre or Jon Jones be the final opponent for reigning Middleweight Champion Anderson Silva.
Silva is 37 and unbeaten in the UFC. He'll have a couple more bouts in 2012, of course, but regardless of the outcome, what can be left for him? He's nearly wiped out the whole of the middleweight division with exceptions to upcoming contenders Mark Munoz, Michael Bisping and Chael Sonnen (again).
Silva provides each fight he has with excitement and being unpredictable, which makes every MMA fanboy (like myself) gasp whenever he fights. I would love to see Silva take on GSP after months, maybe even years, of rumours and chat about the possible dream fight. Silva vs. Jones doesn't excite me as much. Maybe because I think the fight would be one-sided. I haven't decided who it would be one-sided too, yet.
2012 looks to be a huge year for MMA and the UFC and as a fan, I am extremely excited. In the words of "Big" John McCarthy - "Let's get it on!".