Dana White has been talking about ‘fixing Strikeforce’ since that terrible Rockhold vs Jardine event and recently it sounded like Showtime had finally given him the mysterious control he was demanding. But when it was finally time for the things White asked for to be incorporated into last Saturday’s Tate vs Rousey event, Showtime suddenly decided they’d rather keep things the way they’ve always been. Now Dana’s pissed:
“I almost missed the first UFC fight in 11 years, and then I get the phone call from Pete Dropick when I’m in Japan,” White said. “‘Yeah, listen, they’re not going to change pretty much any of the stuff you wanted.’ So I said, ‘[Expletive] them.’
“You flew out to Las Vegas and wasted my time. Go talk your boxing [expletive] to somebody else.”
White declined to specifically address what changes were proposed and/or nixed beyond “a few minor tweaks that we thought would make the live show better.”
However, he did make it clear he thinks Showtime is making a very poor decision.
“These guys are letting a D-level producer run their organization, and that’s exactly what I told Espinoza,” White said. “You want to let a D-level producer run your organization? Go for it brother. Knock yourself out. I’ve got [expletive] to do. I’ve got another job.”
While Strikeforce is usually pretty solid in the fights department, the production side of things is consistently terrible. Cringe-worthy interviews and detracting commentary are two big problems that stand out the most. Add in the dozen or so other problems with the broadcast and you have a product that ends up being unpleasant to watch in spite of the enjoyable matches it’s providing. Considering this nearly universal opinion, it seems pretty silly that Showtime would reject suggestions from the slightly more experienced and successful UFC on how to run events properly.
This situation goes much further than a couple of tweaks that may or may not have helped Strikeforce do something something. MMA Caesar has decided he’s not going to bother with the promotion any more. Remember how long PRIDE lasted after that happened? While Zuffa will still provide the services they’re contractually obligated to provide, there’s a world of difference between trying to make sh*t work and doing the bare minimum. If this is more than a tiff between partners and more like the beginning of a serious rift, it could easily turn the future of Strikeforce on it’s head … and the women’s divisions it contains. Which would suck.