MMA / pro wrasslin reporter extraordinaire Dave Meltzer set the blogginspheres abuzz over the weekend when he talked about the situation Strikeforce fighters are currently stuck in. The general gist of what he said was that Zuffa and Showtime had an agreement in writing that specific Strikeforce fighters would never be brought over to the UFC. No mid-contract transfers over into the UFC. No signing with the UFC once their Strikeforce contract expires. Basically for these lucky fighters named in the deal, no UFC so long as Showtime continued to be involved in MMA.
That’s what Meltzer said during one of his radio shows and once MMA site Bloody Elbow transcribed it and threw it up as an article, people got kinda upset about that. Guys like Tim Kennedy who signed with Strikeforce obviously never agreed to anything like that. This was a backroom deal between Showtime and Zuffa that kinda bends Strikeforce’s fighters over and does them up the ass. As if being stuck in Strikeforce now wasn’t enough of an exercise in futility, these athletes are basically imprisoned there until the promotion is no more.
While Dana White claims the story isn’t true, Meltzer has doubled down and clarified a few points and generalities regarding where his facts were coming from. What’s true and what’s false, who knows? But one thing is for sure: Strikeforce fighters are stuck in the middle, flailing for purpose and prestige in a promotion that no longer has any clear direction. In that way, it doesn’t matter what the specifics are. Everyone already knew the door has closed on Strikeforce fighters crossing over. The Meltzer story just rehashed that fact, and this weekend’s largely ignored Strikeforce event underlined how sh*tty it is for all the guys stuck in the wrong promotion. Fans have been generally pissed about the situation for a while now, and it’s only going to get worse so long as Showtime continues to push this ridiculous ‘separate but equal’ narrative for Strikeforce.