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Gary Shaw Calls Zuffa’s Purchase of Strikeforce Good For UFC, Bad for Fighters and Fans

(Video courtesy of YouTube/FightHubTV)

It’s official. The world must be ending soon. How else can you explain the fact that we actually agree with something Gary Shaw said regarding MMA?

In this interview Shaw did with about Zuffa’s purchase of Strikeforce, Shaw detailed who the winners and losers are in the deal and his viewpoints were all valid ones.

“Great for the UFC [and the] Fertittas. Brilliant, brilliant move. For the fighters, terrible move because they don’t really have another place to go and bargain. So, if you ask me as a businessman, I think it’s brilliant on the part of the UFC, Shaw said. “I’m not even sure that when Strikeforce’s contract is up with Showtime, that they just don’t fold [the promotion] into the UFC at that point and just make it a pay-per-view. For the fans it’s bad, for the fighters it’s bad and for the UFC it’s terrific.”


‘Jacare’ Souza Getting Frustrated With Lack of Fights In Strikeforce; Says He Probably Wouldn’t Fight Anderson Silva Since They Train Together

(Hey Strikeforce, give this man a fight already. When does Chael get back?)

Strikeforce middleweight champion Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza is not happy with his lack of activity the past year and he’s hoping the UFC’s purchase of the California-based promotion will remedy the frustrating situation.

The decorated Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt (who has not fought since defeating Robbie Lawler in January) has only fought three times in the past 365 days including his championship win over Tim Kennedy last August that saw him take home the vacant Strikeforce middleweight title relinquished by Jake Shields when he moved over to the UFC.

He tells Tatame that he just wants to fight and no matter who it’s against or where or when the bout takes place, he’d just be happy knowing there’s a fight for him on the horizon.

“I want to fight as soon as possible. I don’t fight for a long time and I’m upset about it. For one who works for fighting, not fighting for a long time, when you’re ready to go, is the worst thing that can happen. I had to stop for about a month or two, but I already was good to go, and didn’t know when I would fight again. I’m looking forwards to know when I’ll be fighting and then I’ll tell you guys. There’re many good athletes [for me to face]. Strikeforce is one of the greatest events on earth, so I’m cool with anyone they tell me to fight against. As a Strikeforce employee what I really want is to fight.”


Fedor vs. Henderson (Unofficially) Officially Signed for July 30th Strikeforce Card

Different styles make for an interesting fight.

Though Zuffa officials have yet to announce the fight, reports that Dan Henderson and Fedor Emelianenko have officially signed bout agreements to face one another. This match-up has been in the works for a while now and will add some major firepower to the July 30th event at the Sears Center in Chicago.

This is a big fight for everyone involved. Following two consecutive stoppage losses to Fabricio Werdum and Antonio Silva, Fedor’s unbeatable mystique has been shattered. With Strikeforce’s top heavyweights competing in the Grand Prix Tournament from which he was exiled, this bout gives Fedor a shot at a meaningful win against a highly respected legend. After all the talk of his possible retirement from the sport, a victory here would prove that Fedor is still very relevant in the MMA landscape.


Dana White Has a Plan ‘B’ If Strikeforce Doesn’t Work Out Under the Zuffa Banner

1 by Zuffaforce

Dana White was interviewed by Forbes $ports Money while he was in Toronto for UFC 129 last month and as always the UFC president had a lot to say.

Among other items, The Baldfather touched on some hot button topics like the UFC’s plans for Strikeforce, whether or not women’s MMA will survive the merger and what prompted the minority stake sale of 10 percent of the company to Flash Entertainment.

Check out the transcription of some of the key quotes from the show after the jump.


Tim Kennedy Offers to Fight Michael Bisping for the Good of Mankind

(Guess if they’re gonna let *somebody* fight Bisping, it might as well be somebody we like.)

When last we heard from Tim Kennedy, he’d just completed the MMA equivalent of sinking a two-foot putt by choking out Melvin Manhoef in Strikeforce, then went public with his lament that he hadn’t been the one to administer an in-home eye exam to Osama bin Laden. Y’all know we’ve always liked Kennedy. Seems like a super cool dude and admittedly there’s something fascinating about a guy whose typical day might just as easily include either choking out a Dutch-Surinamese kickboxer or smoking the world’s top terrorist. Give or take.

It’s exactly that admiration that led us to be a bit disappointed this week when we heard about Kennedy offering to fight Michael Bisping over at MMA Weekly. Calling out Bisping is one of the more played-out moves a well-known middleweight can make, after all. When we saw Kennedy saying it, we assumed it was just another case of a guy trying to make his bones off Bisping’s inflated reputation and general overratedness. Truthfully, there probably is some of that at work here. But then we started digging into Kennedy’s quotes and realized that A) He’s offering to fight “The Count” basically for free (PR bump notwithstanding) and B) He seems driven to do it out of moral obligation, more than anything else. As far as we’re concerned that – as long as he’s not just bullshitting us – is pretty cool.


Business as Usual: Cris Cyborg, World Champion, Still Can’t Get a Damn Fight

Cris Cyborg Jan Finney Strikeforce
(Weird. The “cover your ears and rock back and forth while humming to yourself” defense worked so well in training.)

Inactive and without a fight booked since her squashing of Jan Finney last June, 145-pound Strikeforce women’s champion Cristiane “Cris Cyborg” Santos is desperate to return to competition — so desperate that she had reportedly been negotiating for gigs with the WWE and a Brazilian fight promotion in recent months. Now she’s moved onto the public-pleading stage of her frustration. Here’s what she had to say yesterday via Twitter:

Hi My dear fans, want to fight too soon, but not dependent on me. This very difficult to renegotiate with scott. They’re not appreciating all I did for the event. I am very sad, but I will not give up. God has another purpose in my life…Maybe I fight the world jiujtsu not going to be the way you like with many punches…but I will give my best to make you guys like it.

Alright, Cris, here’s the deal…


Internet Beefin’: Bigfoot, Barnett Disagree About Who’s the Asshole

(Hell in the ring, silent on elevators.)

Any time two heavyweights with a history of testing positive get into a bi-lingual war of words, you can book us for a ringside seat. Such was the case this week when Josh Barnett and Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva launched into the now nearly obligatory online fighter beef session. Silva got the ball rolling during an interview with Sherdog, wherein (apparently apropos of nothing) he lashed out at Barnett for – among other things – ignoring Brazilian fighters on elevators. So … that was weird.

If we had to guess, we’d say Bigfoot is feeling a little lonely and cranky after being kind of overlooked in all the hype, speculation and gratuitous match-up fantasizing that’s gone on since the UFC-Strikeforce merger. After all, Bigfoot became the latest dude to slay the unslayable Fedor Emelianenko back in February. You’d think that was worth something, right? And then pictures of Barnett exchanging bro-grabs with Dana White show up on the Internet? Why, that’d be enough to set any giant’s blood to a boilin’. His attacks, along with Barnett’s response are after the jump.


Booking Round-Up: New Strikeforce Matches Announced; Aoki to Face McKee at Dream ‘Fight For Japan’

That’s right, JZ. Dress for the job you want to have.

Joe Silva isn’t the only matchmaker working overtime lately. Strikeforce matchmaker Rich Chou Sean Shelby has been as busy shoring up the organization’s upcoming June cards.

The second leg of the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix (June 18th-Dallas, TX) will also feature the return of Gesias “JZ” Cavalcante, who will be climbing into the cage for the first time since his October fight against Josh Thomson, a loss that everyone but the judges thought was close as hell. His opponent will be AKA’s Justin Wilcox, who bludgeoned Rodgrigo Damm in a first round stoppage at Strikeforce Challengers 15 last April.

Two more match ups after the jump.


And So It Begins: UFC Guts Strikeforce Front Office

(“OK, if we didn’t call your name, it means we had no idea you even worked here. Anyway, you’re fired too.”)

Kind of like the husband who assures his loving wife he’s only going to have “a couple of beers” with the boys after work, we suspect when Dana White told us back in March that Zuffa, LLC was “not planning any changes” inside Strikeforce he probably really believed it at the very moment the words came out of his mouth. But just as that husband somehow ends his night trying to explain there was no way he could’ve known that 14-year-old prostitute was actually an undercover policewoman, so too does it turn out White’s definition of “business as usual” actually means, “in two months we’re going to lay off 85 percent of you guys.”


Business as Usual Update: Former Strikeforce President and CEO Scott Coker Quietly Demoted to Executive VP and General Manager

(Chael Sonnen will be skipping the 9:25 lecture to play blackjack)

An interesting tidbit to come out of this week’s UFC Fighter Summit is that former Strikeforce president and CEO Scott Coker has been quietly demoted to the role of executive vice president and general manager of the recently Zuffa-purchased promotion.