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Strikeforce 1/30 Sunrise, Florida

By Zach Arnold | January 30, 2010

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A lot of NFL stars were in attendance at tonight’s Strikeforce event, including New York Jets HC Rex Ryan. Jay Glazer brought several Pro Bowl players to the event in Sunrise.

Thoughts on the show

Go to full-page view if you don’t want spoilers.

The Herschel Walker freak-show experiment worked…

…in terms of media attention. I was paying attention to Twitter during the fight and it never seemed like the chattering would end on Walker’s squash match. I know the Atlanta Journal-Constitution has been riding the Herschel bandwagon hard and it looks like, for media attention, they were onto something.

As for a fight? It went as expected. Put it in perspective.

The media outlets in Dallas and Georgia tonight are going crazy with Herschel coverage. The Georgia Bulldog faithful is sure a passionate bunch.

The biggest celebrity at the show was…

Rex Ryan, naturally. Miami/New York as a football rivalry will always carry weight, even after all these years when the Jets passed up on drafting Dan Marino and instead took Ken O’Brien.

A close second was Georges St. Pierre, which goes to show you how fortunate UFC is right now to have two mega-stars in Brock Lesnar and Georges St. Pierre. If BJ Penn continues high-profile domination for a year more, he may end up in that same mega-level star class.

Dan Henderson’s star power was also off the charts. That win over Michael Bisping at UFC 100 really vaulted his star power up big time.

Strikeforce’s big concern

The guys who got reaction on tonight’s show were all UFC or ex-UFC guys. That says that the promotion itself isn’t strong in terms of making new stars or having the brand power to help fighters elevate their star power to the next level.

Strikeforce’s biggest star attractions? Gina Carano (still) and Herschel Walker. Oh yes.

Topics: Media, MMA, StrikeForce, Zach Arnold | 117 Comments » | Permalink | Trackback |

117 Responses to “Strikeforce 1/30 Sunrise, Florida”

  1. robthom says:

    Strikeforce is doing the right thing.

    They’re making lemonade out of lemons.

    In between a pro-rassler, a part time actor, a football dude and some blue moon loaners they’ve got Diaz on a roll again, the incredible she-hulk, babalu and Hendo to name a few.

    They’re offering a legitimate and entertaining alternative IMO.

  2. Ivan Trembow says:

    IceMuncher said: “Every fight here had at least one fighter who’s never been televised on a Strikeforce show before, which is rather alarming given that there were two title fights. They really need to give their contenders more airtime so they can build interest, instead they’re clutching desperately to known names like Lashley and Walker who probably aren’t going anywhere in the sport.”

    I couldn’t agree more, especially in the case of Cyborg vs. Coenen, because they had a great match-up in November with Coenen vs. Modafferi and they didn’t even televise it. No room on the live CBS broadcast? That’s why you have Showtime broadcasts, Strikeforce.

  3. Alan Conceicao says:

    No one buying UFC PPVs care about the “narrative” of 3/4 of the fights. Strikeforce then might as well bring in one and dones like Wes Sims or, it would seem, Zaromskis.

    If the UFC wanted to sign Strikeforce’s draws, they’ve had all the opportunities in the world to snatch up those guys and didn’t, arguing that it might mess up their “payscale”. In other words, the UFC wants to make 125 million dollars instead of 100, and so competition will continue to exist. If they had been willing to spend a little more instead of trying to force everyone to bend to their will, there would be no Strikeforce, Fedor would have fought Couture for the heavyweight title years ago, etc. Competition will always exist because they allow it to for reasons that aren’t entirely clear to me.

  4. 45 Huddle says:

    Or perhaps Alan, they are not being short sighted like you.

    They would of had to offer Fedor a guaranteed huge payday for him to come to the UFC. Let’s say it is $5 Million. That can seriously screw up a business model. It would hav changed the entire dynamics of how they put on PPV’s. And they would risk all of this for a fighter who might not even say yes to the contract?

    Right now, Strikeforce is staying alive because of their deal with CBS. Without it, they are a complete minor leagues. They risked everything with one fighter. That is stupid business.

    And let’s say they did up the payscale for the Diego Sanchez and Jon Fitch type of guys. That would certainly ensure that they snatched up most of Strikeforce’s talent. However….. Bumping those guys from $100,000 for a win to $200,000…. With let’s say 33 guys would be in that pay range…. Or 100 fights a year. You just increased their expenses by $10 Million a year. And that doesn’t even include guys like Rashad Evans who will then want a pay increase too.

    When they have such a huge stable of fighters, it is dumb business to just raise the payscale to get rid of the competition. So far, just letting those companies put themselves out of business from their own stupidity has worked fine. Strikeforce is on there way to at least obsceleville. They have a lot of guys who already want to jump ship. And they will have more that will want a pay increase when their contracts are up.

    They can’t even get their act together right now. Their problems will only get worse in the future.

  5. Alan Conceicao says:

    They would of had to offer Fedor a guaranteed huge payday for him to come to the UFC. Let’s say it is $5 Million. That can seriously screw up a business model.

    $5 million is a pure guess. Would it have “screwed up” their business model? I dunno: Did the UFC’s success cause Rich Franklin to leave over his lesser money deal back at the start of this big run? I’m pretty sure it didn’t. The UFC could spend an extra $30 million this year on payroll and still come out in the black with ease, and it would have the side effect of eliminating every other potential major promotion.

  6. Zheroen says:

    “You just increased their expenses by $10 Million a year. And that doesn’t even include guys like Rashad Evans who will then want a pay increase too.”

    So, you’re basically agreeing with Alan, in that it would only cost the UFC a small fraction of their currently-garguantuan profits to eliminate the competition? It seems as though your opposition to this is in complete conflict with your primary directive of any non-UFC MMA being bad for the sport…

  7. Alan Conceicao says:

    So, you’re basically agreeing with Alan, in that it would only cost the UFC a small fraction of their currently-garguantuan profits to eliminate the competition? It seems as though your opposition to this is in complete conflict with your primary directive of any non-UFC MMA being bad for the sport…

    But, you see, Strikeforce will then fail (at least, he hopes), and then there will be no more competition. You know, just like when the Battlecade, WEF, WFA, IFL, Affliction, and EXC went under.

  8. IceMuncher says:

    “No one buying UFC PPVs care about the “narrative” of 3/4 of the fights. Strikeforce then might as well bring in one and dones like Wes Sims or, it would seem, Zaromskis.”

    This is true, but only if you’re not looking past that one card. The narrative in those 3/4 fights build up interest for a future main event. Showing those contender fights is more like an investment than an immediate payoff.

    You have a contender fight on the main card a couple times and win some very impressive victories, and then once it’s time for him to get a title shot you have a much bigger draw than you’d get if you had just pulled the guy out of a hat. This isn’t even debatable.

  9. Alan Conceicao says:

    This is true, but only if you’re not looking past that one card. The narrative in those 3/4 fights build up interest for a future main event. Showing those contender fights is more like an investment than an immediate payoff.

    If Jay Hieron really is in the last fight of his contract as some rumored, well, putting him in the unseen prelims and not giving him a title shot because he’s boring aren’t exactly new concepts to MMA. Sounds oddly like the UFC, actually. And hey, if Hieron did end up on TV last night, apparently the fight sucked. Tough to build a fight with a guy no one wants to see.

    I don’t like the lack of actual structure any more than anyone else in Strikeforce, but I do think its funny to see hypocisy from a variety of folks about Strikeforce operating that way after being willing to excuse the UFC on it as a business practice or whatever.

  10. 45 Huddle says:

    $10 Muillion for that level of fighter. Then more for the Rashad Evans and Wanderlei Silva pay range. And then more for the main eventers. It could easily increase the overall payscale by $20 to $30 Million. That is hardly a fraction of anything. That is a huge chunk of money on an annual basis just to attempt to take out the competition.

    The best method is to let these companies
    implode within. It worked perfectly fine with EliteXC, IFL, Bodog, Affliction, WFA, etc…..

    Not to mention…. There could always potentially be that “threat”. Showtime will likely be in the MMA business for many more years. If Strikeforce fails, they will get Bellator.

    It’s dumb to change your business model for every single competitor. They might want to alter their strategy slightly, but if they changed it for each competitor, they would be out of business already….

  11. Alan Conceicao says:

    $10 Million for that level of fighter. Then more for the Rashad Evans and Wanderlei Silva pay range. And then more for the main eventers. It could easily increase the overall payscale by $20 to $30 Million. That is hardly a fraction of anything. That is a huge chunk of money on an annual basis just to attempt to take out the competition.

    This is all pure guesswork on your part. How did you even come up with the $10 million number, much less the rest of them? What the payscale increase would cause the UFC to “lose” they’d just as easily gain back by totally cornering the market on the sport. If there’s no longer an opening for a competitor, Showtime either deals with Zuffa or deals with no one. Who would CBS run a show headlined by without Fedor, Hendo, Diaz, Lawler or the women? Wes Sims?

    The rest of your idea sounds like your hopes. Who is going to defect? What evidence is there that Strikeforce is running low on money? Meltzer doesn’t seem to be indicating that.

  12. Grape Knee High says:

    Competition will always exist because they allow it to for reasons that aren’t entirely clear to me.

    I have to agree with 45 that salary inflation is probably Zuffa’s biggest concern in not overpaying talent to freeze out competitors.

    In reality, they pay their major draws well and they let minor stars go. Regardless of how good of a fighter hardcore MMA fans know Henderson really is, he does not draw well.

    Why overpay for low-drawing talent that will also most likely draw even worse for your competitor? And like 45 said, if there’s money in MMA, there will always be competitors.

    Besides, the competition are all taking the wrong approach anyway. PRIDE succeeded because they knew how to create stars; their own homegrown ones as well as a handful of UFC defectors who were “stars” only insofar as MMA stars existed back then.

    The UFC’s rebirth hinged upon, not surprisingly, creating their own new stars, not reusing PRIDE’s old ones.

    The reason why the UFC’s competitors don’t succeed is because, IMO, they rely too heavily on other organizations rejects, where they should instead be focusing on creative matchmaking and talent scouting.

    A big key to having a successful competitor to the UFC, I believe, is in cultivating the allure that your fighters could arguably beat the best in the UFC — whether it is reality or not. You can’t do that when UFC rejects (albeit talented ones) like Diaz and Lawler are beating all your non-UFC guys.

  13. 45 Huddle says:

    Look at the way CBS and Showtime are handling Strikeforce. They are milking them for everything they are worth. They want the biggest fights ASAP and do not care about 1 year from now. Coker must be having a mini heart attack. They have an extremely short sighted view of the sport and honestly little respect for it.

    They treat Strikeforce not like a league, but like a boxing promoter. If Bellator signed Fedor Emelianenko after his contract was up, they would drop Strikeforce and go with Bellator. There is no loyalty.

    This is why I think Showtime will be in the business for a while. There will always be some money mark willing to lose their shirts to try and compete with the UFC. They will probably fail, but they will always be out there.

    Alan,

    I gave you my math.

    They could easily get all the smaller fighters by making the Diego Sanchez, Jon Fitch, and Joe Stevenson level guys $100/$100 instead of $50/$50.

    If they did that, I low estimate would be that they would have around 30ish fighters at that pay level (including the guys they would attract). Then what happens to the guys at the next tier up? The guys like Rashad Evans who might not make a percentage of the PPV’s but are getting around $250,000 per fight. Well, their pay would go up.

    And if you give them a bigger guaranteed amount, then you have to do the same with your main event fighters who are also getting a piece of the PPV pie. Everything is relative. It’s how every business works. When you increase a pay level in your company, it has a ripple effect.

    It would be beyond stupid for the UFC to raise fighter pay at this point. Your idea of change would cost the UFC millions of dollars a year in 2010 and cost them even more down the line when fighters want to renegotiate.

    When should they do it (raise money)? If Strikeforce gets on PPV and can do a 200,000+ PPV buy event. Then I almost guarantee you the UFC will raise fighter pay across the board and declare all out war.

    As of right now, there is no need to.

  14. Alan Conceicao says:

    They could easily get all the smaller fighters by making the Diego Sanchez, Jon Fitch, and Joe Stevenson level guys $100/$100 instead of $50/$50.

    They already have those guys, and could likely get the Gil Melendez’s of the world for about that much or slightly more. Why wouldn’t Gilbert Melendez sign for 40/40 with the UFC (and the increased endorsement $) when he’s only making 50 guaranteed now? Mo Lawal was paid 10/10: What, the UFC can’t match that?

    They can, they just choose not to because they want to make more money. That’s their call. Anytime they want to just sign all these guys and put a stake through the Scott Cokers and Bellators of the world, I’m game. Interestingly, you support this but hate the idea of competitors popping up.

    When should they do it (raise money)? If Strikeforce gets on PPV and can do a 200,000+ PPV buy event. Then I almost guarantee you the UFC will raise fighter pay across the board and declare all out war.

    Why even allow that possibility? If they sign all the fighters and demolish the market for MMA outside of themselves, promoters can’t jump into the business because there’s no one to promote. The UFC would have more leverage than ever before, because any fighter looking to escape would have to find businessmen willing to build a promotional company around them.

  15. David M says:

    Arguing that the UFC shouldn’t sign Fedor because it hurts their salary structure is anathema to the point: They claim to be the home of the best fighters in the world, but they aren’t. They could have made an inordinate sum of money off of Fedor’s fights (much more than enough to offset his salary), but Dana doesn’t give a shit what the fans want to see, he just wants to keep the bottom line where it is and just hope people are happy with watching cards filled with TUF fighters and 1-2 stars. I honestly hope Couture-Coleman gets under 100k buys and that all these horrid ppvs in a row come back to bite the UFC in the ass. They chose not to sign Fedor knowing he is God of mma, and in so doing fucked over their incredibly loyal fans.

  16. 45 Huddle says:

    David M,

    So what happens when you give Fedor much more money then everybody else…. And then 1 year from then, somebody else wants a contract matched at that amount?

    You don’t think that has a ripple effect?

    Why do you think Quinton Jackson wasn’t getting enough “respect”. He had contract envy with Tito Ortiz.

  17. 45 Huddle says:

    Gilbert Melendez will be getting offered more then $50,000 from Strikeforce when his contract is up. They know they have to in order to keep him. They know where the UFC pay structure is.

    For the UFC to sign him, they are going to have to go above that…. Which would be above Sanchez, Fitch, and Stevenson. Not a smart move.

  18. Oh Yeah says:

    The UFC needs Strikeforce (or some marginally competitive equivalent).

    – The UFC cannot possibly own all top fighters, that will just bloat their roster (bad for fighters and matchmaking) and their payroll (bad for business). Was it worth it for the UFC to retain top 10-15 fighters like Leites and Werdum?

    – The UFC also NEEDS a league to develop talent for them and to pick up their cast-offs. A rash of retirements following cuts by the UFC would be made to reflect poorly on them. The NFL is in a similar situation, but is immune to public criticism in contrast to the UFC’s lightning-rod effect.

    – For a small amount now, yes the UFC could steal Strikeforce’s headliners and show them the door. However, as 45 mentions, this means shifting fighter pay upwards for not only one year, but all future years of the company’s existence. A conservative figure of increasing annual fighter payroll by a flat 5 million into perpetuity @ 5% has a PV of $100m – equal to ten percent of the UFC’s current hypothetical 1b valuation.

    – Ruining Strikeforce creates a void in a once competitive market, opening the door for another new competitor (potentially better than Strikeforce), and most people would prefer the bumbling devil they know to a complete unknown.

    – I find it tough to believe that fighter pay would dip back down if Strikeforce were gone. If the UFC is drawing record numbers with a deep roster full of headliners, fighter pay will not decrease. As it is, fighter pay should be slowly increasing as fighters are underpaid. But if the UFC hits new heights, you’d better believe that fighters will be earning more, or they will all start to complain like heck about it.

  19. Michaelthebox says:

    David M, whine much?

  20. Grape Knee High says:

    I don’t get some of the direction of this debate. Why would the UFC even need the Melendezes of the MMA world anyway?

    Melendez would be a nice addition to the roster, but if they signed him, I do not see him making any waves in the deeper waters of the UFC.

    So why would the UFC change their compensation structure to accommodate a low-drawing, non-champion level fighter?

  21. Oh Yeah says:

    You have to believe an entity as big as Zuffa has already done its due diligence and determined the risks/benefits of increasing fighter pay. It’s no secret that the UFC could afford any fighter it wants at a cost of slightly more than the next guy is willing to pay (except for Fedor).

    The UFC is in a big-market vs. small-market situation. Teams like the Yankees and Red Sox can afford to pay any player more $ than the Devil Rays. This player will always (after considering the team’s facility and media network) generate far more revenue for his team in a large market than on Tampa Bay. I would imagine that there are very few fighters (if any) worth more to Strikeforce than the UFC. When Strikeforce outbids the UFC on occassion, this is either because of the winner’s curse (overbidding), or that the UFC is allowing Strikeforce to nab these fighters for varying reasons.

  22. Alan Conceicao says:

    Gilbert Melendez will be getting offered more then $50,000 from Strikeforce when his contract is up. They know they have to in order to keep him. They know where the UFC pay structure is.

    They’ve had the chance to get him for less before and decided against it. That’s their call, not mine. Besides, when Gil does come up, they should offer something like 70/70 to the guy and give him a title shot. He’s no worse a choice for a title bout than Dan Hardy is for GSP. Not like that guy is bringing any buys to the table in the US. That move alone would evicerate SF’s lightweight division. Instead, I’m guessing they don’t do it. If they were going to EVER do it, they’d have cleared the table when they bought PRIDE. Instead they sat guys after they wouldn’t agree to the contracts and inadvertently funded DREAM.

    For the UFC to sign him, they are going to have to go above that…. Which would be above Sanchez, Fitch, and Stevenson. Not a smart move.

    So what? What is Joe Stevenson going to do about it? You like to brag about the UFC’s bargaining power, but they will suddenly lose their’s with Joe Stevenson doing that? LOL. Please.

    The UFC cannot possibly own all top fighters, that will just bloat their roster (bad for fighters and matchmaking) and their payroll (bad for business). Was it worth it for the UFC to retain top 10-15 fighters like Leites and Werdum?

    “bloating the roster” with top ten fighters is the most absurd thing I’ve ever heard. They must be a hot mess at welterweight, holding pretty much the entire top 15 to contracts. You’re right: They can pay guys less money who aren’t as good and get the same results as having top ten fighters on undercards because the general public doesn’t care who fights there (A) and the internet fanboys will watch anything the UFC puts on and tout its importance, no matter how stupid (B).

    With that said, you’d really rather see Dos Santos fight Gilbert Yvel than rematch Fabricio Werdum or fight someone like a Bigfoot Silva?

    The UFC also NEEDS a league to develop talent for them and to pick up their cast-offs.

    Part one of that: They don’t. Part two of that: Who cares? Let Bitteti Combat do that.

    For a small amount now, yes the UFC could steal Strikeforce’s headliners and show them the door. However, as 45 mentions, this means shifting fighter pay upwards for not only one year, but all future years of the company’s existence. A conservative figure of increasing annual fighter payroll by a flat 5 million into perpetuity @ 5% has a PV of $100m – equal to ten percent of the UFC’s current hypothetical 1b valuation.

    What they could also do are allow fighters to leave and give Strikeforce a fighting shot at existence. If Strikeforce survives and turns a profit, even a small one, they can drive the bidding up far, far more than the UFC would have needed to pay at the get-go. Look at Fedor: When his contract comes up in two fights, if he hasn’t lost, he’s worth even more money than he was prior to signing with Strikeforce or with Affliction. They could have signed him 3 years ago and neither would likely have even had an impact.

  23. Alan Conceicao says:

    You have to believe an entity as big as Zuffa has already done its due diligence and determined the risks/benefits of increasing fighter pay.

    Why? They could actually be looking just to make as much money as possible in the short term. “Due Diligence” and Zuffa aren’t exactly terms that have come together in the past.

  24. Alan Conceicao says:

    I don’t get some of the direction of this debate. Why would the UFC even need the Melendezes of the MMA world anyway?

    Apart from their dominant champions and Lesnar, is there anyone they actually “need”? I just think its funny that the all-powerful UFC would suddenly be at the behest of its second tier of fighters were it to sign outside competitors! Oh no! What will they ever do if Yushin Okami doesn’t want to fight for less than 40&40?

  25. Steve4192 says:

    ““Due Diligence” and Zuffa aren’t exactly terms that have come together in the past.”

    ZING!

    Pride never die.

  26. Grape Knee High says:

    I just think its funny that the all-powerful UFC would suddenly be at the behest of its second tier of fighters were it to sign outside competitors!

    Do you ever have the ability to engage in a simple conversation without being a douche?

    You want the UFC to overpay for non-drawing, non-elite fighters. The UFC doesn’t want to. Why should they? You still haven’t answered that.

    I think you are being incredibly naive if you really don’t think increasing salary demands — whether employees have leverage or not — can make running a business a pain in the ass.

  27. Alan Conceicao says:

    You want the UFC to overpay for non-drawing, non-elite fighters. The UFC doesn’t want to.

    What is a “fair price”? What the UFC decides it is? You can’t even define that.

    Its amazing. Here I am, the “UFC Hater” making what has to be my 40th or 50th impassioned plea for them to talent raid everyone else and finish the job of dominance in the market for good. How do the usual Zuffa supporters of single promotion dominance react? By telling me they need competition and arguing that the UFC needs someone to sign their failed prospects and discarded veterans? Huh?

  28. Grape Knee High says:

    How do the usual Zuffa supporters of single promotion dominance react? By telling me they need competition and arguing that the UFC needs someone to sign their failed prospects and discarded veterans? Huh?

    You’re clearly conflating me with 45 at this point.

    1) I’m not a “usual Zuffa supporter”.
    2) I don’t really care what Zuffa does. And I think competition is good for MMA as a whole. Possibly not in the microcosm of getting “the best fights”.
    3) I actually said signing UFC rejects is BAD for Strikeforce.
    4) I think that you think that you aren’t getting satisfactory answers because you are asking a ridiculous question.

  29. Zheroen says:

    Alan, it seems to me that their arguument is essentially that “if you criticize the UFC for ANYTHING, you are WRONG!”. The usual kneejerk, reactionary, defensive behavior from the same jagoffs in every thread, it’s pretty much par for the course these days.

  30. 45 Huddle says:

    Dan Hardy’s mouth on UFC Primetime is worth $500,000 minimum.

    The UFC has shown they know what they are doing when it cones to fighters pay. I am sure they already have a logic business plan on how to deal with Strikeforce depending on what happens. Letting Dan Henderson sign with SF was obviously a calculated risk they were willing to take.

    The question does become…. Do they even benefit by signing all of the stars away from SF…. Or do they benefit by giving a good enough offer to force SF to pay good money to these guys. SF can’t handle too many bug payday. At some point, they might have to start choosing which champions they can afford to keep.

  31. Alan Conceicao says:

    2) I don’t really care what Zuffa does. And I think competition is good for MMA as a whole. Possibly not in the microcosm of getting “the best fights”.

    If its not good for getting the best fights, then what good is it? It doesn’t seem to have done much for fighter pay thus far, and apparently you feel it shouldn’t.

    3) I actually said signing UFC rejects is BAD for Strikeforce.

    Did I say that you specifically claimed it wasn’t? No. Its an open ended reply to folks like Oh Yeah who think that the UFC currently cares whether or not there’s a competitor for them to pick up their leftovers, much less that they should. They don’t, and they don’t need to.

  32. Alan Conceicao says:

    SF can’t handle too many bug payday. At some point, they might have to start choosing which champions they can afford to keep.

    How do we know that will be the case in 12 months? Why even allow them to get to 12 months from now? Its stupid. Destroy them, take their fighters, be done with “competition”. This isn’t the Monday Night Wars. No magical booking is going to make shitty fights between guys no one cares about better.

  33. Alan Conceicao says:

    Alan, it seems to me that their arguument is essentially that “if you criticize the UFC for ANYTHING, you are WRONG!”. The usual kneejerk, reactionary, defensive behavior from the same jagoffs in every thread, it’s pretty much par for the course these days.

    Its amazing. Only on the internet can you openly pine for the UFC to crush their competition for years and still be labelled a hater for not loving it the right way.

  34. 45 Huddle says:

    The other problem SF is going to run into is when they want to get on PPV. Just like the WEC, once you give it away for free, it is hard to ask people to pay for it.

    Not to mention, if Fedor and Henderson are on PPV, they have nobody left for a CBS card. Which means no CBS for 8 to 10 months? In a perfect world, they would have a deep enough roster to put on a CBS show the week before their PPV.

    I just see Strikeforce getting used up financially and with their fighters over 2010. The combination of not building up their own talent and going through big fights so quickly will mean they have almost nothing to offer in a year. The UFC poaching any talent will hurt them even more.

    And what happens if CBS gets bored with them? Can they even afford Henderson and Fedor on Showtime cards?

  35. Alan Conceicao says:

    I just see Strikeforce getting used up financially and with their fighters over 2010. The combination of not building up their own talent and going through big fights so quickly will mean they have almost nothing to offer in a year. The UFC poaching any talent will hurt them even more.

    But unless they offer more money, how can they poach anyone? The rest of this is wishing; “If CBS gets bored with them”, “If they run PPV they won’t have anyone,”…it wasn’t all that long ago that Fedor and Dan Henderson were going to be resigning with the UFC, the way the internet often talks.

    Like I said before: poach them now, keep snatching guys when their contracts are up, do it till they’re gone. None of this, “Wait two years and see what happens” shit.

  36. Jonathan says:

    you guys have given me alot of really interesting material while i am processng at work. Right now, the only thing i can add is that Zuffa can expand their bottom line and grow their business the way i work on mine…by offering a quality product on time and at a fair price. If you have competitors, then be sure you deliver your product sooner and be damn sure it looks better than everyone else’s.

  37. 45 Huddle says:

    They can poach talent just by being there and giving fair offers. Strikeforce likely can’t afford all of those pay raises. They don’t have to up their pay scale to do this. The difference is that they won’t be able to poach ALL of the talent with this method.

    Strikeforce is already looking very thin.

    Nick Diaz has no opponents left outside of a really boring Jay Hieron. They will have to look outside of the company to get challengers for Melendez and Cyborg. And they are completely rushing King Mo into a fight with Mousasi.

    They are about a year into the anniversary of their deal with Showtime, and they still can’t figure out how to get the #1 contender fights on TV so people are familiar with the future title contenders. Of course part of the problem is that they don’t have exclusive contracts so they really have no ability to do any thinking ahead beyond a few months.

    And now Matt Hughes unloaded on Strikeforce about how they aren’t as nice as the UFC…. And then said it took Jay Hieron and Joe Riggs hours to get stitched up after their fight. That is some serious disorganization.

    Coker is out of his league right now and it shows. He should have stuck to being a nice little regional promotion….

  38. David M says:

    45-How many guys are there like Fedor who command huge salaries and are mythic figures in mma? How many fighters do you think think they could get 7 figures a fight? Fedor, Brock, BJ, GSP, Anderson, and maybe Couture, Liddell, and Machida. So what? Do you think it would be worth it for the UFC to pay Fedor 5m a fight, or to have shows headlined by Rashad vs Thiago Alves that draw 250k buys, instead of a show headlined by Fedor that would draw at least triple that with the UFC machine behind it? Do the math. Further, if UFC took Fedor, Strikeforce wouldn’t even be on CBS, and UFC’s competition would basically be squashed. Fighters don’t have any bargaining power–the fact that Fedor would be getting 5m a fight would literally have nothing to do with Joe Schmo who gets 5k/5k. Fans buy cards for STARS AND PERSONALITIES, not for undercard fights. Fedor’s salary is entirely unrelated to undercard fighters who are basically interchangeable and unidentifiable by the general public.

    Michaelthebox: I’ve never seen you post before, and given the quality of this (what I assume to be your first post), let’s hope I don’t see you post again. This site is so smarky that people on here literally complain when a fan wants to see Fedor fighting in the UFC, and thinks that Dana had a responsibility to make it happen. LOL. What a joke. There is value that is not quantifiable; as even 45 has attested to in the past, when the UFC puts on shows that nobody cares about, it hurts the brand. If the UFC had more headliners who people were excited about seeing, the brand would stay stronger. If the UFC puts on a few mediocre PPVs in a row, then fans will stop buying them, or at least not feel as compelled to buy them as before. You can’t quantify it, but that does not mean it does not exist. It is called not shitting on your fanbase.

  39. Detective Roadblock says:

    The problem with over paying Fedor is that when Fedor starts fighting the best he is likely to eventually lose. Then you have to over pay the guy who beats him and so on.

    That and evry other champ will try to hold them up for money.

    People look at paying for Fedor as if he is a unique commodity that will fight x numbers of fights and then retire without ever losing. What if he does lose?

  40. 45 Huddle says:

    David M,

    Look at Quinton Jackson. Yes, he had no bargaining power. Nobody else can pay him what the UFC does. So what does he do when he is upset that Tito is making more money then him?

    He throws a temper tantrum, goes makes a movie, and ruins the UFC’s plans for UFC 107.

    Bam, Jackson had leverage. Not long-term leverage, but enough to hurt the UFC. You don’t want to piss off your biggest draws.

    Not to mention…. What message does it send to the loyal fighters like Matt Hughes and Chuck Liddell?

    “Hey, thanks for being loyal…. But we are going to give a lot more guaranteed money to the guy who gave us a real hard time for the last 3 years.”

    I really hope you and Alan never run a business.

  41. Alan Conceicao says:

    The constant theme is “overpaying”. No one, not even 45, is willing to define what that means. I again have to assume its “what Zuffa determines”.

    Look at Quinton Jackson. Yes, he had no bargaining power. Nobody else can pay him what the UFC does. So what does he do when he is upset that Tito is making more money then him?
    He throws a temper tantrum, goes makes a movie, and ruins the UFC’s plans for UFC 107.
    Bam, Jackson had leverage. Not long-term leverage, but enough to hurt the UFC. You don’t want to piss off your biggest draws.

    Right; so because the UFC wasn’t willing to pay someone more money (in spite of the fact they’d still make a killing), they lost money having to put that fight on hold and risk it even happening at UFC 107.

    Not to mention…. What message does it send to the loyal fighters like Matt Hughes and Chuck Liddell?

    Who cares? Dana keeps going in public asking Chuck not to fight. What message does that send to the public?

  42. David M says:

    45 why do you hope I never run a business, because I would actually make a lot of profit? Again you don’t seem to understand the correlation between how much you pay and how much you make. Lesnar certainly got 7 figures for his UFC 100 fight; was that overpaying? Of course not, because he is worth it! You seem to simply be incapable of understanding this. The UFC’s buyrate for Thiago v Rashad was 250k. If it had been Rampage v Rashad, it would have been more than double. If even 200k more buys, that is 10 million dollars more money the UFC would have made, yet you are worried about overpaying. I dont know why this concept is so hard for you.

    Again, Fedor is worth hundreds of thousands of buys by himself; the UFC is deprived of that revenue whe he isn’t fighting and instead they have Coleman v Couture. Also it just looks shitty and cheap for the UFC to be unwilling to pay him.

    The bottom line is that you have to pay more to make more. If the UFC is happy with 250k buys, they can continue to put Couture and Thiago Alves in main events. If they want a million buys, they are gonna have to spend more. I don’t know why this is so hard to grasp.

  43. 45 Huddle says:

    With Jackson it wasn’t the amount of money…. The guy was always perfectly happy with his pay. It was contract envy. Which happens at every job. Whether you are making $8 an hour and the guy next to you is making $8.5…. Or make those numbers into millions…. People compare themselves to their co-workers and get happy or mad because of it.

  44. Alan Conceicao says:

    With Jackson it wasn’t the amount of money

    Of course it was. The rest of that argument is absurd because the basis is obviously untrue.

  45. 45 Huddle says:

    You lost me at Fedor being worth hundreds of thousands of buys.

    The guy isn’t a draw. The UFC could draw more for Lesnar/Mir 2 or even Lesnar/Carwin or Lesnar/Cain or Lesnar/Nogueira.

    Fedor is not worth the money they would be paying him. The only reason they want him is because he has the #1 Heavyweight ranking.

    And the reason why you would be bad at running a business is because the advice you give is garbage. Fedor is mythical? Yeah, to a hardcore devoted fanbase who would buy the PPV’s no matter what. Those are the same 250,000 to 300,000 who bought Silva/Evans.

    I believe the UFC knows what they are doing when it comes to fighter pay. You thinking you know better them is comical. Your advice sounds like something we would hear from all the failed MMA organizations from the past 5 years.

  46. 45 Huddle says:

    Alan,

    once again, you take a small snipet of what I say out of context and make a comment on it. You do that wonderfully.

    We all know he got contract envy. He felt left out when everybody else was getting the big contracts. It pissed him off. It has nothing to do with the dollar amount and everything to do with his dollar amount is less then other people’s dollar amounts.

  47. Grape Knee High says:

    Did I say that you specifically claimed it wasn’t?

    Um, you were replying to me, when you implied that I said Strikeforce should sign UFC rejects. I suppose you want me to read your mind when you are replying to me?

    The constant theme is “overpaying”. No one, not even 45, is willing to define what that means. I again have to assume its “what Zuffa determines”.

    Yes, we’ve been talking about this from Zuffa’s perspective, so it’s what the UFC wants to pay. If the fighters want more, and they deserve what they want, they’ll get it elsewhere.

    Freezing out competition by “signing all the talent” is a concoction of a small mind. Signing every good fighter is simply not a realistic option, just as other major sports do not have all the best players. For a myriad of reasons, this will never be a realistic option.

  48. Grape Knee High says:

    Let me add that I think it would be great if the UFC signed everyone. And moved to a ring. And used PRIDE rules. And got rid of the ridiculous white trash imagery associated with the entire sport.

    We can’t always get what we want because it is simply unrealistic.

  49. Alan Conceicao says:

    once again, you take a small snipet of what I say out of context and make a comment on it. You do that wonderfully.

    Your entire argument is based around the idea that it wasn’t about money. “Contract envy” is over money.

  50. Alan Conceicao says:

    Yes, we’ve been talking about this from Zuffa’s perspective, so it’s what the UFC wants to pay. If the fighters want more, and they deserve what they want, they’ll get it elsewhere.

    But that isn’t “overpaying”. That’s how any market works. If Strikeforce can sign guys for more money and make it work, guess what? Its not overpaying them! That’s like saying that the Kansas City Royals won’t pay top dollar for free agents because its “overpaying” them. Or, instead, it could be because the management are moneygrubbers looking to make as much money as possible by putting little into their team and absorbing revenue sharing funds directly.

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