Yeah, ‘Business as usual’ may be the mantra Zuffa is saying over and over to soothe the frayed nerves of their new fighters and business partners. But behind the scenes, small but important changes are happening:
According to GracieFighter.com, the UFC has informed the San Jose-based promotion that amateur fights will no longer be included in upcoming events.
Ditching the meaningless amateur fights was a good idea before the sale, and it’s twice as good if Zuffa’s goal is to wrap up Strikeforce’s existing contractual obligations to fighters ASAP. Then there’s rumors and speculation that Josh Barnett’s position in the Strikeforce HW GP is in danger. Not because Dana White hates his fuckin guts, but because he’s basically a commission outlaw. Dana White’s personal ball washer Kevin Iole opines:
I know that they’re saying yes now, and I think he’s going to have to get himself cleared. I don’t think that Zuffa will stand for, and I don’t think Marc Ratner will stand for going to a state where they don’t test just so Josh Barnett will be able to fight. He’s gonna have to go through the process and that’s gonna send him back to california. But at the very least he’s not going to be able to get out there and fight without getting through all the regulatory approvals.
Last but not least, they may be giving Strikeforce some much needed manpower in some departments. I hate to source MiddleEasy’s Sunday Morning Rumor Mill posting because it’s about as solid as my poop after a week of Super Sizing it, but they’ve mentioned UFC staff being put in charge of certain aspects. And Scott Coker himself told a story on Inside MMA about bringing his one (1!) marketing guy to a meeting with the UFC’s team of twenty five.
So while we may have to wait a while for things to shake out in a way that will result in the awesome fights we all want to see, it’s nice to hear that Zuffa is giving things at Strikeforce a tune-up. Now I just can’t wait to see how the Showtime-run broadcast of next week’s Zuffa-run event ends up. I hope Frank Shamrock whips out his dick in protest.