(“What, that bright light? It shines down on us from heaven. Come see how it feels, Scott. Nice, right?”)
Despite everybody’s continued claims that things have never been better inside Strikeforce, we know the UFC has already taken over the company’s relations with the media and begun poaching its biggest stars. Now, it seems UFC executives are also neck deep in Strikeforce’s business, reportedly working (at least for the time being) to make sure the smaller fight promotion’s top remaining draws are happy. That’s the word out of Toronto on Thursday, where multiple reports say Dana White will meet with Strikeforce welterweight champ Nick Diaz after UFC 129 and that co-owner Lorenzo Fertitta is already seeing to the task of making the proposed superfight between Fedor Emelianenko and Dan Henderson become a reality.
First and foremost, White seems understandably concerned with Diaz’s apparent designs on bolting MMA for boxing. As quickly as plans to have the Stockton bad boy fight Fernando Vargas fell apart a couple weeks back, new reports surfaced saying former super middleweight champion Jeff Lacy might be interested. Perhaps most interestingly, White said this week Diaz’s contract actually does allow for such foolishness – which is another good example of why UFC people need to be up in SF’s business – but he’s obviously not crazy about the idea.
“I’m going to sit down with him and we’ll figure out what he wants to do,” White said, via MMA Fighting. “Listen, for the last 10 years, I’ve dealt with the craziest, the coolest, the baddest, the this, the that. I’ve always tried to make everybody happy. You can’t make them all happy, but you can try. I’ll sit down with Nick Diaz literally after this fight and try to figure out what’s next for him.”
So it sounds like Dana is willing to give Diaz whatever he desires – we can imagine Diaz’s demands including shiny stuff, some string and as many leaves and twigs as it takes to build a nest – until the notoriously cantankerous fighter is pleased. One thing, though: What if Diaz says all he really wants is a UFC contract and a fight with Georges St. Pierre? Then what?
Meanwhile, Fertitta has allegedly been busying himself trying to greenlight that Fedor vs. Hendo fight we heard about, then didn’t hear about a couple weeks ago. At issue may be finding a weight for the fight. Henderson is on record saying he doesn’t want to fight Emelianenko at a catchweight, but would be more than happy to come up to heavyweight. For some reason – as they always do – M-1 Global has found a way to be difficult, contending Fedor wants to fight at 220-pounds.
Also holding things up could be the issue of co-promotion. Though it was rumored Strikeforce might try to get this fight on PPV, Junkie reports they may still be targeting July. In the past, M-1 has co-promoted events on Showtime where Emelianenko has appeared, but it remains to be seen if that deal will still stand now that Zuffa is in the mix.
“Lorenzo’s working on it,” White said, via MMA Junkie. “Me getting anywhere near that thing? You’ll never see that fight … I’ve been out of it. Me involved in that situation would only make matters worse. The great thing about this company and the way we do things – there’s a lot of people I butt heads with (Ed. Note: No shit). Lorenzo can handle it, and then I can handle (other) stuff …
“We don’t have to be friends for you to fight in the UFC, and we don’t have to get along,” White said. “It’s business.”
Nope, you only have to be friends with them to cover the shows.