Dave Meltzer takes a look at some of the behind the scenes changes he noticed during last week’s Strikeforce event:
Friday’s weigh-ins, from an organizational perspective, felt like a World Extreme Cagefighting front-office reunion party (Zuffa merged WEC into the UFC after a final show in mid-December). Among those front and center were former WEC vice-president Peter Dropick, general manager Reed Harris, matchmaker Sean Shelby and P.R. head Dave Sholler.
It is no secret that Dropick is being groomed to help run the Strikeforce business going forward. It was expected that Shelby, who is currently the assistant matchmaker for UFC and in charge of the lighter weight divisions he ran at WEC, would oversee the Strikeforce matchmaking in some capacity.
The idea of Sean Shelby running the matchmaking makes me drool a little. No disrespect to former matchmaker Rich Chou – okay, maybe a little, but I’ve always blamed Showtime and a ‘Too many cooks’ situation more for the stupid fights / fighters sitting out forever situation.
Shelby consistently put together amazing WEC events and it will be interesting to see what he can do with Strikeforce’s roster, which is a lot better than past matchmaking has made it out to be. When you’ve got guys like Gilbert Melendez, Gesias Cavalcante, Jason Miller, Brett Rogers, and KJ Noons regularly sitting out 6+ months, you’re not using your lineup effectively. Oh, and let’s not forget Cris Cyborg, who hasn’t fought since June 2010.
Most of that has to do with stagnant divisions with no new talent coming in. With Scott Coker promising 17 more events between now and this time next year, that’s a lot of fights that need to be put together.