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Business Already Not as Usual: Strikeforce to Allow Elbows to the Head on the Ground

(Sure they lead to some bullshit stoppages, but we support anything that has the ability to break Brandon Vera‘s face in three places. Props: Cagewriter)

Dana White, Lorenzo Fertitta, and Scott Coker held a media conference call earlier today to respond to questions about Zuffa’s purchase of Strikeforce, and despite DW’s previous claims that Strikeforce will operate the way it always has, at least one notable change is already in the works. Elbows to the head of a grounded opponent — a somewhat controversial staple of the Unified Rules of MMA followed by the UFC, but not utilized in Strikeforce — will now be legal in Strikeforce matches, effective immediately. Said Lorenzo Fertitta: “The one change we’re going to do as a promoter of the show is the unified rules that you see in the UFC.”

The move should reduce confusion among fans who might not understand why two MMA promotions that now share an owner would adhere to different rule-sets — though it was also announced that Strikeforce would still use its six-sided cage, and not the Octagon. A few more notable updates from the conference call are after the jump (via MMAFighting and Sherdog).

- According to Scott Coker, his partners in Silicon Valley Sports and Entertainment wanted to re-focus on their “core business” of hockey, which led to the sale; Coker wanted to stay in the MMA business. SVSE, the former co-owner of Strikeforce, also owns and operates the NHL’s San Jose Sharks.

- Another change of tune: Dana and Lorenzo now say they’d be open to cross-promotional superfights.

- Strikeforce’s deal with Showtime runs until 2014. “If Showtime is interested in something beyond that, we’re interested,” said Fertitta.

- The UFC will no longer counter-program Strikeforce events.

- Zuffa has nearly 4,000 fights in its library after acquiring Strikeforce’s library.

- Dana White on unions: “A union is up to the fighters. But this really isn’t a team sport. Will guys making big money want to kick money down to others?”

- Dana on a future Strikeforce PPV show: “We’re open to the idea of the heavyweight grand prix final being on pay-per-view.”

- Dana on his former enemies like Paul Daley and Josh Barnett: “There are a lot of people who aren’t big fans of mine, but we can still do business. Me and Tito [Ortiz] did business for years.”

Cagepotato Comments

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DangadaDang- March 15, 2011 at 8:17 am
Gotta agree with Nintendog on this one. Wrestlers have had it easy for far too long. I want there to be UFC fight cards benefiting brain trauma caused on other UFC fight cards.
Nintendong- March 15, 2011 at 5:28 am
"a somewhat controversial staple of the Unified Rules of MMA"

This is by far the most useless word count increasing comment I have read on this site. Does anyone truly believe elbows on the ground are "controversial"?

I am 100% behind bringing knees to the head on the ground back. All too often wrestlers can squat and fight for the single leg never fearing for their melons.
ccman- March 14, 2011 at 4:55 pm
Willing to bet its not long until the cages are the same size.
I'm guessing the company that created and payed to lobby for UNIFIED rulesactually wants them unified is another fucking satanic conspiracy.
Smitty- March 14, 2011 at 3:41 pm
+ 1 Morningwood

Im gonna love Strikeforce GnP now!!
Bill Jackson- March 14, 2011 at 2:48 pm
Bravo, RwilsonR!
mDino- March 14, 2011 at 2:20 pm
i offically hate dana white. sure hes a great businessman and all, but hes gonna ruin strikeforce and make everyone pay rediculous amounts of money to watch fights now. its only gonna get worse. i hope he dies before he raises ppv's to $100 each.
RwilsonR- March 14, 2011 at 2:16 pm
ihateemo only realiazed part of the situation.
The good news is that they have footage of Jake Shields for those who don't yet know him to promote his next fight. The bad news is that they have footage of Jake Shields for those who don't yet know him to promote his next fight.
Too-high-to-decide- March 14, 2011 at 2:12 pm
Screw that, "business as usual", crap. Now that the UFC has so many fighters, they should use Strikeforce to try experimenting with airing a free live show, on a scheduled day, every week. If Dana wants this to become the largest sport on the planet, he needs to make it look like one. Having a live card on air every week would only cause even more familiarity with the sport, eventually making MMA a household name.
GILL-uh-TEEN- March 14, 2011 at 1:35 pm
Also, Dana White will be sleeping with Josh Barnett's wife from now on. Josh is totally cool with it.
SouthSideEssay- March 14, 2011 at 12:58 pm
Lol @ Hendertron
Morningwood- March 14, 2011 at 12:48 pm
where's karma telling us all he told us so?
Morningwood- March 14, 2011 at 12:43 pm
what's next cross brand super fights?
danomite- March 14, 2011 at 12:36 pm
see? things are already improving.
ihateemo- March 14, 2011 at 12:31 pm
"Zuffa has nearly 4,000 fights in its library after acquiring Strikeforce’s library."

I think I heard a sigh of relief from the brass - for Shields' first fight they had no footage to use, so it was just shots of him throwing elbows under a mister. Imagine trying to promote the GSP fight with footage from a gassed out Shields laying on top of Kampmann.

(Conversely, it also means that they have another nice extra couple of Hendertron overhand rights to add to the highlight reels if and when he's back in the UFC proper.)
CungwantsCookies- March 14, 2011 at 12:27 pm
good move. ive always been bothered by the lack of elbows in SF. steve, i think its the "fedor reconsiders reconsidering retirement" rule.
the chef- March 14, 2011 at 12:27 pm
Looks like Strikeforce might go down sooner than we thought
Fried Taco- March 14, 2011 at 12:23 pm
See, I think all our comments made DW change his mind!
Steve W- March 14, 2011 at 12:21 pm
They can rename this the "Fedor gets his shit REALLY busted up now" rule.