When Zuffa bought out Strikeforce and took control of the company it was assumed it would absorb into the UFC, it’s still currently a separate promotion, but looks like it will be absorbed soon. The question is looking back though could it have competed with the UFC?
Strikeforce had a television deal with Showtime and was even shown on CBS although that ended in a brawl and ultimately spelled their cable demise. It had stars like Dan Henderson, Allistair Overeem, Fedor Emelianenko, Gilbert Melendez and Jake Shields. There was the personalities of Nick Diaz and Mayhem Miller and was a competitive league.
While some fighters have come into the UFC with little success others have really made a name for themselves or were stars in their own right before coming over. Dan Henderson had the fight of the year with Mauricio Rua and is in line for a title shot against Jon Jones. Nick Diaz defeated BJ Penn and was supposed to fight Georges St. Pierre before losing to Carlos Condit for the interim title and Jake Shields won rounds against Rush for the first time in forever.
Fabricio Werdum recently destroyed Big Country and Gilbert Melendez has been knocking on the door to a UFC title shot for the past two years. Allistair Overeem looks like the only man who may take out Dos Santos due to his stand up and jiu-jitsu and he was the former Strikeforce heavyweight champion.
Dana White looks like an even smarter man than ever with this purchase. He has always taken out the competition whether it be Pride or others, but this looks like the most significant purchase. Strikeforce was truly a league that had the money and TV support to compete with the UFC. It even had female MMA, which in my opinion allowed them to reach a bigger audience. If it had a couple more years it could have truly been the USFL to the NFL for MMA. Remember the UFC at the beginning? It lost money the first couple years, but now is a billion dollar company and who says Strikeforce couldn’t do that too.
For now it looks as if Strikeforce will eventually die and its fighters will be absorbed into the UFC, but looking back could it have competed. Could it eventually have gone side to side with the UFC like Pride? Sadly we will never know thanks to Zuffa’s purchase, but looking back it could’ve been a huge force for the UFC to compete with. It also again shows Dana White is one of the smartest businessmen there is.