don’t believe the hype


With the recent acquisition of the remaining Proelite(EliteXC) assets, Strikeforce has become a mixed martial arts organization to be reckoned with. In addition to obtaining many important fighter contracts, Strikeforce has also managed to strike a deal with the major premium channel Showtime, giving them the ability to put up to SIXTEEN LIVE EVENTS a year.

So what does that mean for MMA fans?

Peep it after the jump !

First things first, it cements the SF Bay Area as a center for mixed martial arts, considering Strikeforce is based out of San Jose (in addition to being the home base to distinguished schools such as American Kickboxing Academy, Frank Shamrock’s Submission Fighting, Fairtex, etc).

Considering Strikeforce’s already solid fanbase, it will not hurt the organization much to put on more shows because they already have loyal fans who truly understand and enjoy MMA. The Showtime deal will only allow more MMA fans to recognize that Strikeforce is a legitimate force in the martial arts world. It is the legit MMA fans that keep organizations alive, not the casual fans who watch for big knock outs and wild slugfests.

However, with the amount of marketable matchups (Cung Le vs anyone, Gina Carano vs anyone, Eddie Alvarez vs Josh Thompson?), Strikeforce should be able to do very well either way. Even though they really won’t do UFC numbers, they have the ability to provide MMA fans with a viable alternative.

What makes Strikeforce so great is that they run a very good promotion. The events are tightly controlled, the presentation is not overly flashy, the commentating is typically solid (Whether or not you like him, you still have to admit Frank Shamrock is an intelligent commentator), and most importantly, the fights are entertaining. Even the UFC recognizes Strikeforce as a well-run promotion.

In fact, Strikeforce is so respected that UFC President Dana White has only this to say…
Have you heard me say a bad word about Strikeforce?” says White, “I wish them all the luck in the world. I have nothing bad to say about guys who are running the right promotion”

However, we have yet to know the details of either deals. We have no idea which fighters specifically have been acquired and we do not know anything about the financial situation of the Showtime deal. We don’t even know who is fighting on the next fight card in April.

Nevertheless, look for Strikeforce to make a splash in 2009. If you haven’t already checked out some of their fights, Strikeforce is on NBC every Saturday night (check your local listings).

My advice: Put Kimbo Slice on the undercard.


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