In an event that would mimic many of this author’s previous sexual encounters, both in brevity, and disappointment, we gathered around our idiot boxes Saturday night to witness the next step in the castration of UFC. We were treated to the Fox Sports theme so commonly associated with the NFL; to Brock Lesnar in a suit that he probably hasn’t worn since he graduated from the University of Minnesota as an all-American wrestler. We were treated to people pretending to understand UFC. FOX was kind enough to display the rules just before the fight. We were treated to Curt Menefee pretending to give a damn about the UFC. We were treated to Dana White’s tired schtick about how every fight he promotes is so spectacular. We were treated to a shot of Alistair Overeem ringside, in a suit, and no preliminary fights but about 35 minutes of introduction to Junior Dos Santos, and Cain Velasquez. Finally, we were also treated to a fight that lasted only 64 seconds when Dos Santos caught Velasquez with an overhand right to the back of the head and finished him off in ground-and-pound. That’s not terrible; fight fans know that it can-and-does happen in the fight game; but why did we have to have all these ribbons and bows for this?
and bald Vince McMahon Dana White has been on a subtle mission to ruin Strikeforce since the UFC announced that it was purchasing the U.S. fight promotion earlier this year. While the UFC is indeed the top dog in the U.S., with apologies to Bellator, Strikeforce still represented an alternative to see fights from people who didn’t have to kiss Dana’s ass, or who the UFC demonstrated no patience for in earlier forays. Strikeforce brought us the likes of King Mo, Fedor, Gina Carano, and Alistair Overeem.
First, we saw Jake Shields shift over to the Octagon, then Strikeforce occasional heavyweight champion Alistair Overeem was announced to fight in December against Brock Lesnar (boing!), and now Strikeforce lightweight champion Gilbert Melendez is likely to make the switch.
Pull guard and sink in a guillotine, ESPN:
UFC president Dana White said he wants to have Melendez in his promotion very soon.
“We do want to bring Gilbert Melendez over [to UFC] and we’re looking at it right now,” White said Saturday night. “We’re going to bring him over ASAP.”
It was believed that Melendez (19-2) would defend his Strikeforce title in December against Jorge Masvidal. But White further emphasized his desire to have Melendez’s next fight be in UFC.
“We’re looking to bring him over right now,” White said.
White refused to guarantee a title shot for Melendez in his first UFC bout, but he would not rule it out.
“It’s a possibility.” White said. “The thing is, that division is stacked.
“And usually timing has a lot to do with it.”
The article goes on to note that, in total, four Strikeforce champions have vacated, including Dan Henderson, and welterweight Nick Diaz, and they are all in UFC now. Meanwhile, Paul Daley sits by the phone pretending to play bridge, and Keith Jardine is probably underneath a bridge right now sharing a can of turpentine with Boxcar Joe after they boxed for a sandwich. Where is my source for this information, your mom, that’s who!! (points to crotch).
By now you have heard the news that UFC has made yet another acquisition by buying up Strikeforce, home to scorned ex-UFC fighters like Frank Shamrock, and Paul Daley. Not to mention bigger draws like King Mo, Bobby Lashely (when was his last fight!??) Dan Henderson, and Herschel Walker.
Tim Marchman has a good column on SI about the barriers that the UFC must overcome in order to expand the business and compete with the likes of the NBA, NFL, and the WNBA.
Full disclosure, I am a Strikeforce fan. Just as I was a K-1/Pride fan, and a WEC fan before they got folded into the ever-expanding tent of UFC. Strikeforce is going to be separate until at least 2014, and they are immediately adopting UFC rules. Still, this is bittersweet for me because, although I like the potential future match ups, I believe that competition is best for consumers (straps dynamite to chest, prepares to run into the Comcast headquarters). Buying up Strikeforce potentially means that if Fedor wants to try his hand in the UFC heavyweight division, he can. It means that Herschel Walker can show up on a UFC card. It means that Bobby Lashley may someday fight again.
With Strikeforce now under the Zuffa brand, Bellator represents the only competitor left. Bellator is somewhat unique from UFC in that it structures its events around tournaments, rather then assigning match-ups. The roster does not have any big names for casual fans but the hope is that the concept catches on, like bj’s after Monica Lewinsky, or adopting african children after Brangelina. Like sex with your mom, I strongly encourage you to check out Bellator on MTV2. It won’t call you up in six weeks hysterical because you don’t like condoms, either. What am I, a sailor!?