Strikeforce card announced; Rousey to UFC?

November 8, 2012

Strikeforce announced that it will hold a card January 12th in Oklahoma City which will feature all of the Strikeforce champs in the men’s division.  There is also a rumor that Ronda Rousey is officially a member of the UFC roster.

The announced matches via Strikeforce Press Release:

•    Gilbert “El Niño” Melendez (champion) vs. Pat Healy for the STRIKEFORCE lightweight title
•    Luke Rockhold (champion) vs. Lorenz Larkin for the STRIKEFORCE middleweight title
•    Nate Marquardt (champion) vs. Tarec Saffiedine for the STRIKEFORCE welterweight title
•    Daniel Cormier (Grand Prix champion, OSU All-American) vs. Dion Staring

“We’ve built an absolutely stacked card for Oklahoma City and the SHOWTIME viewers,” STRIKEFORCE CEO Scott Coker said. “We have three awesome title fights featuring some of the best fighters to ever grace the STRIKEFORCE cage. Plus, we have Daniel Cormier, one of the fastest-rising heavyweight stars today, returning to his roots in Oklahoma to fight Dion Staring. January 12 is going to be a really special night.”

While Melendez, Rockhold, Marquardt and Cormier will all fight on the card.  Strikeforce’s only recognized women’s champion, Ronda Rousey, may have moved on.

TMZ reports that Rousey is the first female to sign with the UFC.  The news would not be surprising considering Dana White hinting to media recently  that he had changed his mind about women’s MMA due in large part to Rousey.  The armbar specialist was featured in this week’s Sports Illustrated.

Payout Perspective:

With Rousey left off this card (for now), the speculation that she is now a member of the UFC makes sense and a fight with Cyborg Santos could be the first women’s MMA match in the UFC. Undoubtedly, that fight would be the co-main event of its Memorial Day or July 4th weekend card.

No confirmation on whether this will be the last card for Strikeforce and I don’t expect an announcement until we get closer to the date.  The January show may be a way to fulfill the cancellation of its last show and not a new contract for 2013.   If Strikeforce were to cease operations after the January card, it would leave many Strikeforce fighters looking for work.  The UFC could sign most of these fighters considering the need to find fighters for the growing number of events around the world and quality replacements for the inevitable injury.

11 Responses to “Strikeforce card announced; Rousey to UFC?”

  1. Felix on November 8th, 2012 11:32 PM

    Don’t like this move by UFC. Instead of competing with other orgs they just buy them, no doubt to keep the fighters wages low so that they can take more for themselves. Pride, WEC and Strikeforce were all good for MMA, UFC just makes it sour for me. I expect they will buy and shut down Bellator next. Competition sucks.

  2. Brain Smasher on November 9th, 2012 12:43 AM

    Exactly what do you benefit from multiple Orgs? I dont understand people like you. You cant make good fights when the talent is spread out. Who cares that they bought out those promotions? Does it matter that those same fighters have a different 3 letters over their head? Whats does it matter to you? People seem to stupid for their own good. Now if you want fighters to make more money at the expense of your entertainment than yeah by all means as stupid as that sounds go ahead. BUt i want to see the best fights. That cant happen if they are locked up in other promotions and fans argue about who would win for eternity.

    You need to get over your weird distain for the UFC. It makes no sense and really dont see how you can be a fan of the sport with that kind of attitude.

    Also the buyout have nothing to do with keeping wages low. Thats stupid. They are paying lots of guys way more than they have to pay and always have. The buy outs are to keep control as the leader in the sport. It also prevents these upstarts promotions from getting in position to damage the sport. Which it has done many times. The UFC is assuring their way of doing things is the standard bearer of the sport all the way down to the rules they use. Second of all it gives them fresh super fights lots of times. UFC champs blow through contender to fast. When you can bring into someone who has been on top in another promotion it provides a super fight. Like the big fights we got when they bought Pride, Then the big fights we got when they got Rampage from WFA, Overeem from SF, etc. They could just get them on the free agent market. But they couldnt promote them without their past fights. So they need the library that is owned by the promotion. Then when you can take out a rival. Buying the promotion becomes the best option.

    If Bellator ever gets any fighters who have any credibility and we (the fans) want to see fight top UFC fighters. Then i hope one day the UFC buys Bellator. As of now Bellator refuses to pay their top guys and they are leaving. They format isnt going to build them many stars. So they are safe for the time being in mediocrity.

  3. Brain Smasher on November 9th, 2012 12:51 AM

    Think is a great move by the UFC. Rousey gives them an auto co-main event even without a credible opponent. Getting out of Showtime is a good idea. Let them bleed someone else dry. After they refused to air the DC vs Mir event. I think that was the last straw i my book. They air all kinds of challengers series bum events. But they lose a main event fight and that isnt even good enough to air? It was still better than the challenger series cards by far. There was no excuse. They were trying to force the UFC’s hand and now they got what they wanted. They never come close to making a commitment. No promotion was ever going to have great success with what they were paying them. Contracts for fighters were getting bigger and bigger and Showtime wasnt willing to make a larger investment. Wanting great ratings for peanuts. This is why Strikeforce sold to Zuffa to begin with.

  4. Weezy02 on November 9th, 2012 3:02 AM

    Rousey has a pretty good following and people will definitely pay to watch her compete. It makes sense that they would move her to the brand that will maximize her earning potential.

  5. Jason Cruz on November 9th, 2012 8:28 AM

    UPDATE: MMA Fighting confirms Rousey move and SF’s last show.

  6. Dr ozzie on November 9th, 2012 10:47 AM

    Wonder what Showtime got from the UFC in exchange for letting Rousey go. She had another fight on her deal and there’s no way they would just forget about that? Zuffa must have bought them out or negotiated a split with Showtime on the ppv…

  7. Sampson Simpson on November 9th, 2012 11:47 AM

    Bellator aint for sale

  8. JUICE on November 9th, 2012 11:13 PM

    It matters because fighters play it safe the Greg Jackson way once all this money becomes involved. Oh wait; I mean the table scraps that Zuffa throws into the ring and the fighters fight for. I prefer the WFA and WEC fights because those fighters were hungry and entertaining. Now you have Greg Jackson polluting the airwaves. Old strikeforce was way better too. Raise your hand if you remember that the UFC got Rampage and Machida from the WFA? a WFA event which Lindland should have won against Rampage I might add.

  9. Brain Smasher on November 10th, 2012 8:29 PM

    What you are talking about has nothing to do with the UFC. I agree money kills fighters. But that money comes in all promotions. SF was just getting read yto have to pay that money when they left. Reems contract was up and all their guys was wanting paid based on the ratings they were getting and the popularity they had. Money was going to go way up.

    The only way money doesnt get involved is if YOU are the only one watching it. Bellator will always be bums fighting for rent money as long as noone is watching. If they get good ratings on Spike the fighters will want their cut. Hell Bellator is already losing fighting because they want their cut anyway. Hector left with their belt. Alverez is testing the FA market. Nam Tyson just left them after beating their champ because they didnt match his offer. Bellator will always lose their fighters to the UFC or other promotions if they dont start paying more. IF they do then the fighters become over paid just like UFC fighters and have no reason to take any risk.So like i said. Your UFC hatred is unfounded. You complain the UFC pays scraps when they want the same as you. They dont want to pay the fighters because they know it kills fighters too. Dana said this exact thing last month. They have lost a lot of fighters over the years trying to control fighter pay inflation. Remember Marilo wanting 6 figures back when noone made 6 figures? He was champ and they let him go. Jens Pulver wanted more money and they refused to pay and let him go. Penn wanted Hughes money based on his 1 fight and they refused and let him go. All of ti was to keep pay from going up with every new champ. They always want more than the last. Like the NFL and NBA draft. #1 pick always wants more than last years pick. But eventually you can only control it to a curtain point. All you can really do is slow it down. Not stop it.

  10. JUICE on November 10th, 2012 11:35 PM

    Instead of having old people fight as freak shows they can have women now.

  11. Women's MMA on November 29th, 2012 9:15 PM

    Looking forward to Ronda’s debut in the UFC, think she will quiet most of the skeptics and bring in some new fans. A fight announcement for her should be coming soon. WMMA is here to stay.

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