Great belt, or the greatest belt? PicProps: AnnieSHOSports/Twitter
After another fun night of heavyweight action, the Strikeforce Grand Prix finals are set: Josh Barnett and Daniel Cormier will fight to be recognized as the best heavyweight in the world, except for those guys in the UFC. Or the guys that have left Strikeforce in the past few months. Whatever.
Anywho, you may have seen pictures of the GP championship belt that showed up last week, and heard that Coker and company are still lukewarm about the idea of calling the GP winner the Strikeforce champion. We thought that didn’t really make sense, and Josh Barnett agrees. At the Strikeforce press conference Saturday night, Barnett tried to twist Coker’s arm a bit, asking: “Why don’t we sweeten the pot?” Barnett asked. “Why don’t we put that title on the line between me and Cormier?”
Coker, bless his heart, didn’t want to commit to that, and you have to wonder: “Why?”
It seems that we here at CagePotato were more right than we knew when we said that championship belts just may not be a good idea in Strikeforce. Anyone who can claim a title in Strikeforce is obviously headed to competition in the big show, so why bother naming a champ if you don’t have a champion’s clause to keep him? Strikeforce would constantly be having tournaments and bouts to fill vacant championships, and you can imagine how much esteem the title would hold if a fighter claims the Strikeforce title, gets called up to the UFC, drops two straight, and then gets sent right back to Strikeforce. Is that fighter an automatic contender for the Strikeforce strap?
So upon reflection, it seems Coker has the right idea: trophies and belts are great for designating a big win like sweeping through a tournament field. Fighters should get some kind of tangible reward (aside from cash) for their wins. But with it now crystal-clear that Strikeforce will hand over its best and brightest to the UFC roster, there’s no need to anoint one person as the best in Strikeforce. That’s just the on-deck circle for the big leagues now.
You know, business as usual.