(“Strikeforce is the best….Sorry, I just can’t say it with a straight face.”)
Now that UFC’s parent company, Zuffa LLC has bought Strikeforce nuggets like *the buying price for Strikeforce was $40-million* and *Pro Elite was one of the frontrunners for taking over the San Jose-based organization before DW and the Fertittas swooped in and bought Scott Coker’s baby*.
One of the more interesting behind the scenes tidbits today comes from an interview Tatame did with Fabricio Werdum regarding Zuffa’s latest belt notch. Werdum reveals that following his June 26, 2010 upset win over Fedor Emelianenko, he received a call from UFC matchmaker Joe Silva to see if and when he was available to negotiate. “Vai Cavalo” was inexplicably dropped by Silva following a KO loss at UFC 90 in October 2008 to up-and-comer Junior dos Santos. In his two bouts prior, the Sylvio Behring BJJ black belt defeated Gabriel Gonzaga and Brandon Vera by TKO. Rumor has it, Werdum, whose contract ended with the dos Santos fight asked for more money than the UFC felt he was worth and was handed his walking papers.
“Now I can say, right?” laughs Werdum. “Joe Silva told me to call him as soon as I was ‘free’…to call him to negotiate, but now we’re at the same home again.”
Since he was being completely honest, Werdum also admitted that the promotion he spent the last year-and-a-half fighting for wasn’t really all it was cracked up to be.
“Strikeforce was doing well, growing strongly, but let’s face the facts, the UFC is the best of the world — a stronger brand,” Werdum explains matter-of-factly. “You have to unite with the best.”
I’m no lawyer and I’m not sure if a phone call to enquire about the availability of a fighter constitutes tampering or tortious interference and even if it does. Besides that, Mark Cuban is over his frivolous anti-UFC lawsuit phase and HDNet just got UFC credentials, so who would bring about a lawsuit now that Strikeforce is Zuffa-owned?
I seem to remember hearing years ago that Frank Shamrock owns some SF shares…