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MMA Link Club: The ‘everybody grumbles about the future of Strikeforce’ edition

By Zach Arnold | December 19, 2011

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Member sites of the MMA Link Club

This week’s MMA Link Club featured stories

Five Ounces of Pain: Strikeforce-Showtime deal was contingent on keeping Gilbert Melendez & Luke Rockhold

If the report is true, why would Showtime think that the Strikeforce belts carry the same kind of weight as being a UFC champion?

MMA Fighting: Zuffa should consider sending BJ Penn to Strikeforce to face Gilbert Melendez

Solution: Bring someone over from the UFC to fight him. It doesn’t have to be the champion. Bring one of the many quality guys over to challenge him. I have just the guy. He’s a big name, he can bring attention to the promotion, and he offers the instant credibility that only a former UFC champion can provide. Bring over BJ Penn to fight Melendez.

As long as UFC is running the amount of PPVs that they are scheduled to produce, BJ Penn will be a PPV headliner and not a headliner for a Showtime deal that is the B-level deal.

With that said, I’d love to see the fight happen… but it’s not going to happen.

Fightline: Cris Cyborg shows no ring rust in blitzing Hiroko Yamanaka in 16 seconds

The question is… who’s left in the field that can compete with Cyborg’s physical size?

Cage Potato: Strikeforce aftermath — the challenge in finding challengers

Strikeforce has thus far found Melendez the best competition available, but there’s no question that he’s outgrown his little pond. Bouts against ranked, or even credible, competition will be few and far between from here on out, which is why it’s all the more important that the champ make a statement with each and every punch. Last night he failed to do that. This is not to take away from Masvidal, as he is dangerous, but most consensus rankings place him somewhere in the mid-to-high 20?s. Melendez put together solid combinations and stayed out of trouble round after round, which was more than enough to convincingly win the fight. But right now he’s stranded out on that island. If he wants to earn the kind of attention and respect that he’s after, he’s going to have to light a massive fire and scream a little louder with his performances.

MMA Mania: Gilbert Melendez thinks the Japanese view him as the #1 Lightweight in MMA

5th Round: UFC 142 Brazil card filling up again after getting ravaged by injuries

Is this going to be a ‘forgotten’ show on the event calendar for fans? The main card definitely feels very light on big star power.

Bleacher Report: Gilbert Melendez could be the one to defeat Frankie Edgar

Would it be a pretty fight to watch, though?

Liver Kick via Middle Easy: Strikeforce is the MMA world’s purgatorio

Last night proved to be the first bigger Strikeforce event since the Showtime deal was re-negotiated, and something about the show did not come off as planned. On paper, the card was exciting and showed a lot of promise, but in execution it was a mess. If a fighter is competing within a promotion that stands on its own, there is something for them to achieve, but when the promotion is a feeder league with parallel divisions, the whole scope of the game changes. Part of what helped with Strikeforce’s charm was the attitude and identity of the promotion. It felt like a spiritual successor to some of the bigger Japanese events, with a focus on entertainment and promoting the fighters, not just the brand.

The accompanying graphic in the article is worth the click alone.

Lowkick: Phil Davis says that Rashad Evans is still the same old fighter

The Fight Nerd: Check out the original call for fighters UFC ad from 1993!

It’s exactly what you would expect it to look like. It looks like it was done in Wordperfect.

MMA Convert: Video — Jens Pulver was knocked out cold over the weekend in Nebraska

MMA Payout: Very nicely detailed update on Zuffa’s lawsuit against New York over the state MMA ban

…Zuffa argues that New York does not have a rational basis for its blanket ban of professional mixed martial arts in the state. It states that New York does not articulate the reasons for the ban. While safety and messages of violence may be interpreted as the reasons for the law, Zuffa contends that these reasons fall flat since other forms of martial arts are legal in New York and studies show that MMA is a safe sport. In addition, Zuffa argues that there is no rational reason that it bans MMA even though there are other violent forms of speech (i.e., video games, violent movies and music lyrics) that are not regulated.

As a bonus, here’s an MMA Metrics report about Pro Elite market research on just who is watching MMA these days.

Topics: MMA, Media, StrikeForce, UFC, Zach Arnold | 18 Comments » | Permalink | Trackback |

18 Responses to “MMA Link Club: The ‘everybody grumbles about the future of Strikeforce’ edition”

  1. 45 Huddle says:

    Somebody on another forum suggested Kenny Florian to fight Gilbert Melendez. I think that makes much more sense and is a much more relevent fight for Melendez right now.

    The Jens Pulver KO was sad…. But Don Frye fighting a few weeks ago was even sadder. Shame on the fighters, their camps, and the promotions for allowing them to fight so far beyond what they should be.

    Strikeforce is just a purgatory for Zuffa fighters right now. Not as bad as Bellator is…. Because at least Melendez has hope at the end of the tunnel where Hector Lombard does not. I want all of the best fighters in 1 organization, not 2 or 3, even if they are owned by the same company.

    • edub says:

      Considering Dana’s talk on SF the other day, it seems they want to keep SF around. With the whole “wait til you see what we do talk”. Personally, I’d much rather one organization too.

      Kenny-Gilbert would be a great fight, considering Kenny was a top 5 LW just last year.

    • Dave says:

      Kenny Florian should be fed to Cris Cyborg.

  2. edub says:

    -I’d like to see the winner of Miller-Guillard get the next shot at Melendez. Pettis-Lauzon winner wouldn’t be bad either, but they are probably tabbing that winner for the next UFC title shot.

    Gray IMO would be perfect, but there is no way Zuffa would put him back in the picture to be a viable challenger to Frankie this quickly.

    -So keeping Gilbert and Luke Rockhold were the major sticking points? Overeem, Diaz, and Henderson didn’t matter. That doesn’t make much sense to me.

    -God I hate bleacher report.

    -IMO Gil is the legitimate second best in the world (who Japan thinks is the best doesn’t really matter, but Gil-Frankie would have been ten times better than Frankie-Ben IMO), but I also think Frankie would pick him apart quite handily. I think there are a few guys beyond the UFC’s top two who could theoretically beat Gilbert, but outside of Frankie and Gray I’d favor him over the rest.

    Mike Chandler, Eddie Alvarez, and Paticky Freire would be welcome editions to either division.

    And as 45 talked about earlier, Florian’s return to the LW division will mean another contender for someone to deal with.

    -Funny to see everyone talking about Cyborg moving to 135. It’s not really fair to me. Why not just have Rousey fight her at 145? You never know, she could get that sub early.

    -Jens needs to stop. Plain and simple. He has shown glimpses of being a great coach. Guys like Robbie, Matt, Miletich, and all the old guys from MFS need to sit him down and let him know he’s done. What’s going on now is sad.

    • Alan Conceicao says:

      My understanding is that since he trashed Miletich, a lot of those guys abandoned him and Pat wants nothing to do with Jens. I don’t think that’s happening any time soon.

  3. KOQ24 says:

    If the UFC sends somebody over to fight Gil it should be someone coming off a win.

    If Cerrone beats Diaz i’d love to see Melendez-Cerrone.
    Otherwise the Guillard-Miller winner

  4. jim allcorn says:

    On one hand, I’m happy to see Strikeforce continue because it guarantees us a finish to the Heavyweight Grand Prix. Not that there’s a huge demand for it by any means, but still… I want to see it through to the end. Even though I REALLY don’t get the whole “plus one more strikeforce bout for the winner against a top heavyweight”.
    HUH?!!
    Where are they going to get this “top heavyweight” from exactly?
    Other than Sergei ( who’s already been dismantled by Barnett in rather easy fashion ) & “Bigfoot” ( who got destroyed by Cormier the same night ), all the other decent heavies have been signed over to the UFC already.
    So, that leaves a one off fight for an established UFC heavyweight on a future Strikeforce show.
    Which, the only benefit that I can see coming from it is that it’ll only cost us fans the cost of our Showtime subscription rather than the cost of a PPV.
    But still, why?
    Is it some sort of a “farewell to the heavyweights” deal or what?
    It seems to me that it would be in Zuffa’s better interests to make the Gran Prix winner’s debut against a UFC fighter take place on a UFC card. Just to promote it as a bigger deal & hope to get a couple/few extra buys out of it.
    With their current plan, what happens if they send over a Frank Mir for instance & he walks through the Grand Prix winner on Showtime?
    Won’t that just serve to somewhat deminish the Strikeforce brand as a whole? And, with their plan to delete the heavies from Strikeforce, won’t they have have just created damaged goods that they’ll have to either give a second chance to in the UFC or just cut?
    The plan just doesn’t make any sense to me…

    • Russell says:

      Dana announced that there will no longer be a heavyweight division in Strikeforce. You can kiss the tournament goodbye unfortunately.

      • Alan Conceicao says:

        He also said that they would finish the tournament and the winner would have another fight in Strikeforce before moving over. My guess is that Showtime would have to basically OK any of these guys being cut. All the guys that got allowed to leave SF and head to the UFC did so before the man at the top of Showtime Sports left for HBO. Since then – no such moves, probably because of who has taken over.

        As is, Showtime basically announced that they were planning to invest more heavily in boxing for 2012 yesterday. They’re essentially taking what they were paying for Strikeforce and moving over some of that money to try and compete with HBO for fights.

        • edub says:

          Yep. Ortiz-Berto 2 is a big statement IMO.

        • cutch says:

          Showtime will be airing Boxing undercard fights on Showtime Extreme, similar to the Strikeforce deal, do you think they will keep Sho Box?

          Was Kell Brook’s fight aired over there?

        • 45 Huddle says:

          Does boxing even have undercard fights fans want to see?

          Another head of Showtime Sports…. And another guy who is going to pretend like Showtime can actually compete with HBO.

          There is a reason why Hershman going from Showtime to HBO was considered a big step up in his career, and not a lateral move.

        • edub says:

          Yes.

          No, but he’ll look to have them compete.

          Yes. Captain obvious.

        • Alan Conceicao says:

          Brook’s fight wasn’t televised in the US; just the main event of that card was. Some of the undercard is being put on youtube now.

          Also: LOL, if only boxing had fights as relevant to the fan base as Nam Pham/Jimy Hettes to show.

        • 45 Huddle says:

          I like how you cheery pick one bad fight from a UFC prelim card. Suits your needs, but has nothing to do with reality.

          Overall, the UFC undercards are far more interesting and filled with a much higher level of talent then in boxing.

          In general, boxing has a few good fights on the undercard and mostly garbage. in general, the UFC has mostly good fights on the undercard and a few garbage fights.

        • Alan Conceicao says:

          The earth trembles with the united excitement the human race shows for the likes of Omigawa/Alcantara and Pyle/Funch. If only boxing could handle that kind of matchmaking!

  5. RST says:

    “Bring one of the many quality guys over to challenge him.”

    In addition to Penn there are quite a few name brand and decent WW’s (there are still more names there then LW) who could drop down and give him some good references for his resume:

    Penn, Kflo, Sherk, Sanchez, Serra.

    Those are all guys who wont be taking a belt in the UFC soon, but are plenty capable of seperating cream from chafe.

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