||03-05-2012 03:08 PM
The Good, The Bad and The Ugly: Zuffa's Wild Weekend
Mar 5, 2012 - Less than three months ago, UFC president Dana White was all positivity and enthusiasm in discussing the future of Strikeforce.
"I'm getting involved in this thing and I'm excited about it," he said then. "I'm going to get behind it 100 percent."
But on the same weekend that Ronda Rousey completed her lightning quick rise to the top, giving women's MMA its best moment in years, White essentially said he is done caring about Strikeforce. Those two events weren't connected, except in the fact that one day in the future, they might be.
With limited options for women try to ply their MMA trade -- and Strikeforce the biggest -- that means that if a frustrated White and the Zuffa ownership group part ways with Showtime at the end of their current deal, Rousey might soon have no place to hang her star.
Let's remember that just a few months ago, Strikeforce's future was tenuous at best, negotiations going down to the wire before a deal was struck. At the time, White acknowledged that the extension wouldn't have been possible without a regime change at Showtime sports that would make it possible for him to provide input and make adjustments to the production. But the new relationship has apparently soured faster than the old one did, and White is no longer interested in a partnership with the Showtime sports staff.
That will leave other executives like Lorenzo Fertitta and Peter Dropick to run things in his place on behalf of Zuffa. It's certainly a competent group, but the point is that if White is frustrated with Showtime, the rest of the Zuffa team probably is, too. If White envisioned changes, they all envisioned changes. Those apparently won't be coming, and you don't have to be a business insider to know that unmet expectations lead to discontent.
The relationship might ultimately still be salvageable but this can't be considered a good sign coming so early after a contract was inked. And if it isn't salvageable, Strikeforce might be extinct when its deal is up, unless Zuffa tries to find another T