Last week UFC President Dana White came out to say Strikeforce was sticking around for the foreseeable future after Zuffa came to terms with Showtime on a new deal, also adding some potentially exciting news regarding an investment in maintaining the company’s roster and even booking the occasional crossover fight featuring a UFC competitor.
Now White, along with Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker and Showtime executive Stephen Espinoza, are ready to talk in a bit more detail about what’s to come on the Strikeforce front.
The trio will shed some light on the subject at 3:00 PM EST during a conference call with media and, as always, Five Ounces of Pain will be on hand to relay relevant information and interesting soundbytes back to readers.
Check out the highlights below:
*”I’m fired up about this deal and the guys in Strikeforce are fired up about it as well. They’re very happy about this new deal.” Alludes to Strikeforce fighters fighting UFC fighters.
*Strikeforce will do away with the heavyweight division after the GP, but doesn’t say all the fighters will be moved to the UFC.
*”The women’s division is very popular. We’re going to keep it. We’re keeping one division…and Cyborg.”
*Says that Gilbert Melendez is pumped to stay in Strikeforce and will continue to defend his title in Strikeforce.
*Doesn’t commit to Strikeforce running PPV.
*Will be at Strikeforce events but Coker will run the day to day operations.
*Has a good relationship with the new Showtime regime. “If I wasn’t happy with the deal, I wouldn’t have involved myself in it.”
*Says that both companies will be looking for the best fighters in the world.
*Will look to add depth to all the divisions.
*Is excited to make some tweaks and build up Strikeforce and Showtime.
*Has no clue what the future holds as far as UFC/Strikeforce cross promoting fights.
*”My schedule next year is ridiculous.”
*Says this is a partnership with Showtime. Will look to make some changes for the better.
*”Strikeforce guys are going to be legit champions and contenders.”
*When asked about Strikeforce Fight Night bonuses, Dana says that he doesn’t know yet but is leaning towards yes.
*Hasn’t made Fabricio Werdum’s UFC return official.
*Showtime wanted the HW GP winner fight one more time on their network and that’s why it’s happening.
*Says Strikeforce won’t be a feeder league. “Watch and see what we do over the next year.”
*Says the winner of the Heavyweight Grand Prix will not be the new heavyweight champion and that they will focus on the other weight classes once the tournament wraps up. “The winner of the HW GP will fight another top heavyweight and then we’ll focus on the other weight classes.”
*There will continue to be two women’s divisions.
*Will eventually crown new champions in each division.
*Haven’t determined when the 8 shows will run. Has to work everything out with Showtime’s programming.
*Looking to run Daniel Cormier vs. Josh Barnett at the end of the first quarter 2012.
*Has not determine who or when Miesha Tate will fight next. Hopes to do a fight with Ronda Rousey, who is looking to fight at both 135 and 145.
*Announces that Strikeforce will run 8 events next year starting January 7 with an event headlined by Luke Rockhold vs. Keith Jardine.
*All preliminary fights will be aired on ShowtimeExtreme. Due to this, there will be no more Strikeforce Challengers events.
*Would consider running Boxing and MMA events on the same night, but only if it works out. Worries about overload.
*They could extend their deal with M-1 Global but isn’t concerned about that, only focussed on Strikeforce.
*Says Strikeforce is not a secondary brand.
*”Gina (Carano) at heart is a fighter. It would not surprise me at all to see her back in MMA.”