Alternate Universe: Strikeforce merging with Bellator, MFC, Dream and SengokuPosted on March 14, 2011, 07:11 AM by Anton Gurevich
ZUFFA's purchase of Strikeforce will definitely bring more variety to the Ultimate Fighting Championship, and basically means that fans will get the chance to see fights they always wanted. Sounds like a perfect deal to any casual fan out there, but what if things went a little bit different? What if instead of selling out to the UFC, Strikeforce would merge with Bellator, MFC, Dream and Sengoku?
It may seem like a crazy idea, possible only in the Sliders TV Show, where Communists rule the United States and Hillary Clinton is the President (oh, wait). But after all, in my opinion, it was the only rational long term move for Strikeforce other than folding under the ZUFFA banner.
In a current situation where ZUFFA have 95% of MMA's top fighters under contract, promotions like Bellator, MFC, DREAM and Sengoku have a very few options to play with.
Instead, if Bjorn Rebney, Scott Coker, Mark Pavelich, FEG gave up their piece of a pie and joined forces, world of Mixed Martial Arts would win a mammoth competitor for the UFC brand. Merged promotion would have a roster deep enough to compete with the UFC (to say the least), and a power to promote events around the world.
And just like many other sports, MMA can offer a lot of different competition formats. It's hard to imagine UFC doing a Grand Prix Tournaments or arranging some sort of a league (the future of Female MMA fighters is a topic by itself). These are the things that make Strikeforce, Bellator and other promotions so unique. MMA fans like it, and will always seek for an alternative to satisfy their evergrowing appetite.
Of course, such deal would require a common factor. Perhaps a billionaire, who will back up his belief in the sport with a long term investment. And yes, there's enough billionaires out there to see the opportunity, break the bank and give the World of Mixed Martial Arts a huge development boost, thanks to a revamped competition. MMA needs its Roman Abramovich in order to move forward.
After all, Strikeforce's acquisition will bring more excitement to the sport. I still believe that the world of MMA will maintain some sort of balance with Bellator and other promotions gaining additional power after Strikeforce contracts run out and some of the fighters will start moving to the UFC. I'll repeat what Ryan Ventura said in his article: Fans are the only sure winners in ZUFFA-Strikefroce deal.