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Strikeforce/UFC Real Time Conference Call Highlights

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:

Dana White

*”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.”

Scott Coker

*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.

Stephen Espinoza

*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.”

13 COMMENTS
  • Rece Rock says:

    interested in hearing whats up next for SF

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  • Rece Rock says:

    no more Strikeforce Challengers events… yikes.

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  • Rece Rock says:

    Strikeforce will do away with the heavyweight division after the GP… double yikes.

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  • edub says:

    Gilbert will continue to defend in SF…

    Hmmm…

    Maybe have some of the stacked UFC division moves over to face him? Gilbert (or Masvidal) vs. the Lauzon-Pettis winner?

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  • There were a lot of half, non-committal answers from Dana on the call today. I’m going to do a column on the whole situation to run tomorrow, but it’s definitely a “wait and see” deal right now.

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  • fanoftna33 says:

    Great to see they are keeping the ladies, but sucks they are dropping the challengers show.

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  • Lord Faust says:

    I wish Strikeforce would quit pretending Carano is going to fight. Honestly, who cares anymore? If you want to ogle here, then she gets a lot more screen time in movies.

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  • edub says:

    Dana talks twice as much as Coker, seriously why do they say he still has any say whatsoever over anything?

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  • Lord Faust says:

    Have you seen the pre- and post-fight conferences? Dana is pelted with questions any time there is a media function.

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  • MCM says:

    “The women’s division is very popular. We’re going to keep it. We’re keeping one division…and Cyborg.”

    Does this mean their going to bring back Marloes Coenen?
    I’m glad to hear them keeping the ladies around, but I wonder what weight the “one division” will be? I’m not sure what the regulations are for womens divisions, but if Elite XC could have a 160lb LW division, I don’t see why SF couldn’t have a 135-145 lb womens division.

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  • Both women’s divisions are staying. Dana was joking that there’s one weight division (135) that has depth and talent while the other weight division (145) only has Cyborg.

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  • edub says:

    Thanks for clearing that up Jeremy.

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  • GIKE MOLDBERG says:

    All I have to say is: other than the female MMA aspect, I(as much of the MMA community) is utterly confused-Why wouldn’t you just label SF events on showtime UFC events?-Your viewership would at least double on name value alone

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