UFC Purchases Strikeforce; Organizations To Operate Independently For Now

PRIDE Fighting Championships, World Extreme Cagefighting, and now Strikeforce can be added to UFC’s shopping list. UFC president Dana White today announced that Zuffa LLC, the parent company of the Ultimate Fighting Championship, has purchased California based MMA promotion, Strikeforce.

Terms of the purchase were not immediately disclosed, but White characterized the transaction as “a good deal.” White said under the terms of the purchase, Strikeforce talent will remain on the promotion’s roster for the time being, though UFC fighters could potentially make their way into the organization. Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker will remain a part of the company and will run day-to-day operations.

Dana White, speaking via MMAFighting.com, said:

“Strikeforce is going to continue to run business as usual, there are contracts in place. These guys are on Showtime. Strikeforce pulls good ratings for Showtime. I think Showtime is happy with them. All those contracts will be honored. These guys are going to remain Strikeforce fighters.”

“Could guys from the UFC leave and end up over in Strikeforce? Yeah.”

“That’s a separate business that has their own income. They have their own budgets and everything else that they do. They have they’re own television deals. If they’re that interested in acquiring (a fighter), it’s no different than it was before.”

White ruled out the possibility off cross-promotion “superfights” featuring fighters from both promotions and said current fighter contracts, broadcast deals and business partnerships will be unaffected. White also insisted that Strikeforce will continue to operate as an independent entity, right down to negotiating for fighters’ services.

White clarified that fighters such as Paul Daley and Josh Barnett, would be free to negotiate with Strikeforce under the terms of the new deal.

White, speaking to Kevin Iole, said:

“One thing we always do is honor our contracts. Showtime has a contract with Strikeforce and it will continue. They pull decent ratings. Showtime is happy with Strikeforce and Strikeforce is happy with Showtime. We plan to operate them as they are now, as a separate company from the UFC.”

“That is largely because Zuffa doesn’t plan to interfere with the contracts that Strikeforce has with its fighters. Fighters currently under Strikeforce won’t be able to move to the UFC, no matter how good they are, until their Strikeforce deals expire.”

“However, those who sign deals with Zuffa now and in the future could find themselves shuttling between leagues. Eventually, when all of the current Strikeforce contracts expire, all Zuffa-contracted fighters will be free to float between leagues to create the best matchups.”

“When we make decisions, we all get together as a team and make them and now that team includes Scott. But he’s running Strikeforce. Let’s be honest here: There are some people there, the Showtime executives, M-1, Henderson, who aren’t big fans of mine. But I don’t want them to be uncomfortable in their own league. Strikeforce is Showtime’s league and they have a contract with Strikeforce and we’ll let it run as it has.”

White said the changes that would be made would be mostly behind the scenes. He wouldn’t say if he would change Showtime’s announcing teams, though he said, “Showtime controls the production [for Strikeforce].”

“We’ll make some back-of-house improvements so the fighters will notice that things may run more smoothly, and the media may see a difference in how we do things, but this is still going to be Strikeforce,” White said.

About William Smith

After watching the first Ultimate Fighting Championship I became instantly hooked. I've been a huge fan of the sport of MMA ever since. Haven't missed a UFC event & thanks to fight pass I've witnessed some of the all time greatest fighter & athletes the sport through Pride, Strikeforce, WEC, Glory, Pacrase, EliteXC.............. I resently joined MMA-paradise.com & will use this site to continue to bring the latest news from the world of MMA to all our loyal followers.