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How Strikeforce sucks even when they’re awesome

You know an event has captured the fans’ attention when you see an endless number of highlight videos and homemade posters created out of love and anticipation for said event. The Strikeforce Heavyweight Tournament certainly qualifies, and one thing I’ve noticed is that everyone would rather have Overeem front and center rather than the guy Strikeforce keeps pushing, Fedor.

And even though I think it’s safe to say we’re all still excited about the tournament, Strikeforce made some more misjudgements a few days ago when they announced the specific rules for the tourney. Let’s get nitpicky!

  • Overeem’s heavyweight belt is NOT on the line
  • Because of this, all fights will be 3 rounds except the final which will be 5
  • The winner becomes Tournament Champion and will fight Alistair Overeem next
  • A five person Strikeforce ‘commission’ will decide what happens if a winning fighter can’t continue to the next round
  • A fourth judge from Strikeforce will be on hand in case of a draw. This judge will score rounds ‘the PRIDE way’, aka he just picks whoever he thought won.

Let’s start from the bottom: I’m sure Strikeforce thought they were oh so clever announcing contingency plans in advance, but they just sound stupid and unnecessary. Draws rarely occur, and it’s a given that Strikeforce will decide what happens in the event of a draw. But putting a ‘fourth judge’ from Strikeforce on the bench sounds corrupt on it’s face. Ditto with the stupid replacement committee.

Again, OF COURSE the promotion will decide who replaces who in the event of injury, contractual SNAFU, or Act of God. Any good choice will be painfully obvious to both the fans and the promotion. This magical sounding Council of Five just sounds like a way for the promotion to justify whatever shitty decision goes against common sense.

Three round fights – well, that’s really a no-brainer. The only reason we’re talking about this at all is because SF/ SHO kept mentioining all fights being 5 rounders, which in turn was only being talked about because they kept saying the heavyweight belt would be up for grabs during each round. Now the belt is out of the picture, and Strikeforce is using the 5 round thing as the excuse. Not only did they get busted on that, but NO ONE CARED ABOUT THE ROUND CRAP. Why’d they even bumble around that shit in the first place?

Which brings me to the belt not being up for grabs. Strikeforce points to PRIDE and how their belts weren’t up for grabs during tournaments. But that ignores the fact that past corrupt matchmaking and judging, the 3rd biggest gripe about PRIDE was all the non-title fights. We saw first hand what happened when champions lost and still kept the belt. It sucked.

But hey, if Strikeforce doesn’t want the belt in the tournament, whatever. I just think they’re passing up a once in their lifetime opportunity to have their Heavyweight title actually mean something. It was going to be an 8 man tournament where the winner comes out the undisputed Strikeforce Heavyweight Champion. Possibly even ranked #1 heavyweight by the MMA media.

Instead, fighters will now be competing for a tournament title with no history, a kooky bracket setup, and some strange ‘Strikeforce decides’ advancement rules. The winner gets to challenge the champion, which may I remind you only happens if the champion has already lost during the tournament. Joy of joys.

Strikeforce has managed once again to suck a decent amount of awesome out of their awesome sounding plans. I’d be shocked … if they didn’t consistently do that. Remember the middleweight tournament that never happened? Remember their women’s 135 pound tournament, which ended up being 4 women fighting 6 minute fights for #1 contendership? Wait, never mind. #2 contendership. Sometime in 2011. Who knows when, we’ll get to it sooner or later. Remember Carano vs Cyborg, the biggest fight in WMMA? Strikeforce fumbled that because they were too busy sucking Fedor’s cock.

Jesus Christ, Strikeforce. I’m still excited for this tournament, but you’re making it more difficult than it needs to be.

  • Reem.Hadouken

    Oh please. Coker thought it would be cool, and Alistair said he’d put his belt on the line but logistically it wasn’t that easy to do.

    None of these fights will get out of the second round anyway.

    We’ll still find out who’s the best and then that guy can fight Reem for more violence. The fights are what matters and the fact that Overeem is fighting in each level is good enough for me.

    People just want any excuse to bitch about strikeforce. And people are still going nuts over this tournament so I don’t think it’s sucking the air out of anything.

  • scissors61

    Another potential snag: if Overeem wins the tournament, who the hell does he fight? Do they stick an opponent coming off a loss in there against him right away, or put the belt on ice for another 6 months while they book a #1 contender fight between the runners-up in the tournament? Arrrgh. If you’re going to make a tournament’s prize a shot at the champion, the champion shouldn’t be in the tournament! Fuck, man.

  • fightlinker

    It was very logistically easy : Overeem fights are 5 rounds, everyone else’s are 3. TADA! Like magic, the problem is solved. He’s the champ, his fights are *supposed* to be different.

  • Schrute Boxe

    the commission stuff for injured fighters/possible draws seems frivolous and kinda greasy but they made right decision in not putting the hw belt up for grabs in this tournament. it makes better sense to promote this as an 8-man battle royale than to suggest it’s all for a championship belt that holds little value anyways.

    do the tourney, worry about the belt later.

  • Márcio

    How about not acting like a big vagina about everything Strikeforce does? In a time when the UFC HW division is fucked, Strikeforce seized the opportunity and he’s putting up good HW fights. It would be nice if people could give them some props, but no, everybody as to give an organization with less than two years in the national stage the kind of scrutiny that even the UFC doesn’t get.

    A month ago no one cared about the Strikeforce belt, but now that the belt isn’t on the line everyone suddenly cares.

    The fourth judge will only be called upon in case of a draw wich is highly unlikely. Pride rules makes sense for that judge, he will only be called upon if regular judging can’t get the job done.

    The idea of The Reem fighting 5 round fights and everybody else 3 is also fucking stupid, it’s a tournament, it requires a level playing field.

  • subo

    If tournaments required level playing fields, the brackets would be set up just a liiiiiiiittle bit differently.

  • Symbul

    The only problem is the way they did the PR for this, including flat out lying that the commissions were the reason they won’t have 5 round fights. SF has always been bad at getting its message across coherently so this is nothing new I guess.

    Like, do people *seriously* care whether the worthless SF belt that Overeem won over Paul Buentello and Brett Rogers is up for grabs?

  • NinjaCodah

    Overeem could just drop the belt and the winner of the tournament takes it, it’s not like the belt is worth much at the moment. This way, Strikeforce can claim to have one of the best HW in the world PLUS a legit HW belt that’s actually worth more than the plastic it’s made of.

  • SST

    Lesnar and JDS trying string words into sentences for 6 weeks vs 8 man HW tournament.

  • GoldenArms

    the belt should go to the winner, but who really cares. fights are fights and this will be a good tourney. the brackets are perfect. Fedor gets his tune up fight before taking on Overeem. You know M1 would ask for more money if Fedor fought Overeem in the “championship” match. Coker made the right decisions for the most part. There shouldn’t be 5 Rd fights for Overeem. That’s not really too fair for him or his opponent.

  • GoldenArms

    I dont think too many people care about the SF belt. The only belt in MMA that matter is the WAMMA belt!!!!!!!

  • thingvolds


  • P W

    Man, the whining is getting out of hand. I thought this piece of shit was written by Subo.

    Look, this isn’t tennis. There is no official ranking that can be used to seed the tournament in an indisputable way. Sure, some other arrangement might appear more reasonable to you, but that’s just an opinion, there really is no right or wrong here. No matter how you do it, someone is gonna say it’s “kooky”.

    Even when Strikeforce sets up the four fights they want to see in the first round, it leaves 3 fights that will get decided without any input of the promotion (theoretically, at least, for you cynics out there). Compare that to the normal situation, when 100% of the match-ups get selected by the promotion, it’s still a radical concept. Fuck, the UFC can’t even allow themselves to fulfill promises like “winner gets a title shot” or “loser leaves the organization”.

    “But putting a ‘fourth judge’ from Strikeforce on the bench sounds corrupt on it’s face.”

    But when BLAF overrules the AC after a fight it’s not? At least not when you agree with him, I guess.

    “But that ignores the fact that past corrupt matchmaking and judging …”

    But then isn’t all match-making “corrupt” by definition, or are you suggesting that Joe Silva is pulling names out of a hat? Oh, and I’m so glad that we no longer have any problems with the judging in MMA, and that the judges always get it right.

  • Oontyex

    why not just have only fights with the title holder be 5 rounds and for the belt…


    fuckin strikeforce always trying to be too smart n set up fights for what they hope will happen in 6 months time (that never actually happen) rather than just making the best of whats actually happening (which could be amazing)

    mannnnn such douche baggery

  • Reverend Clint

    strikeforce should include fighters from different divisions if it really wants to be like Pride

  • iamphoenix

    WTF…he’s not saying strikeforce hw gp sucks and no one should watch it…it’s great they are doing a tournament…but they are fumbling their way in making it happen. it’s just all signs point to a crappy event, and why not point out their faults.

  • blutspender

    So, if a fighter beats Overeem in the final – he is the number one contender and has to wait another few months and fight him again to get the belt?

  • glassjawsh

    ^ a la ricardo arona after he beat wanderlei in the 05 MW GP (Except he got his title shot after getting KTFO by shogun)

  • Reverend Clint

    what happens if overeem is dropped in the first round and his oppressor is beat by say Kharitonov… who get the title shot? The guy who beat overeem or the overall winner? Id want the guy who beat him.

  • Oontyex

    if a title holder is fighting in their weigh div, why shouldnt it be a title fight, its just spazzy

  • subo

    “I thought this piece of shit was written by Subo”

    I’m flattered – this was a good piece

  • P W

    “I’m flattered – this was a good piece”

    Sorry, but just like the phrase “piece of shit” it wasn’t supposed to be taken literally.

  • frickshun

    Good write-up Ryan. Sometimes the dumbasses on this site impress me w/being so criminally insane & still having internet access in the asylum.

  • Reverend Clint

    this was a solid write up. The nut huggers and ufc haters cant see that strikeforce is run very strangely.