Yes, it’s official: Strikeforce’s heavyweight GP tournament semifinals card happens tomorrow, and no one gives a flying shit. With all of the crazy announcements by the UFC lately, the hype for the Strikeforce card has been rendered as impotent as me after seeing this. It shouldn’t surprise anyone that Zuffa is putting its primary efforts into promoting its main brand. However, the wholesale pillaging of the Strikeforce card combined with kinky UFC partner-swapping left Thursday’s Strikeforce press conference as deserted as a public bath after the entrance of this guy, and Strikeforce fighters are getting all jilted lovery. Josh Barnett was extremely butt-hurt, and seemed as if he might go slash his arms with a razor blade to get more attention:
“It’s disappointing,” said Josh Barnett, one of the four Grand Prix semifinalists on the card. “I’d really like it if we could get a little bit of back-up from the UFC on this. Just a blurb. I’ve talked to some of the fighters and the conversation has come up, why can’t Dana [White] do one little video blog, one little piece saying, please come watch these fights because they’re good fights? I don’t know. Maybe he doesn’t think they’re good fights.”
Barnett later went shopping for a jacket to generate buzz for the fight because all of his other emo theatrics failed to generate more buzz. Also not one to pull verbal punches, Mo Lawal had this to say at the press conference:
“I was hoping there would be more people out here, more media, more questions, but really I guess ya’ll don’t care about us that much,” Lawal said. In his eyes, Saturday’s Strikeforce event on Showtime looks to be a strong card that many fans will likely miss “because everybody’s worried about other issues instead of the fights this weekend — I’m just being real… [Rockhold]’s fighting for a title, you got two fights in the heavyweight tournament. …It’s not to me, but it’s a slap in the face to them.”
“I don’t give a [expletive],” he said. “I’m going to speak my mind. What are they going to do, say ‘Respect the organization or you’re going to be out forever?’ Get the [expletive] out of here with that [expletive]. I’m just keeping it real. Make sure you put that in there.”
It’s understandable that Lawal had his possibly-whiskey-induced courage up after Nick Diaz was given another chance at UFC 137, but he should be careful, because fighters are cut from Zuffa for not being “team players” whenever White and company feel like using their giant flesh sword. As if this wasn’t already obvious, “Dana White and the media better respect my authoritah” is not such a smart tack to take.
Luke Rockhold perversely turned the doomy, gloomy, poop-covered situation on its head:
“Yeah, it’s being overshadowed, but at least it’s overshadowed by Strikeforce guys. Nick Diaz, Alistair Overeem — at least we’re being overshadowed by our own people… I don’t want to jump to any conclusions here, but we might be looking at the end of something. We’re going to have to perform and go out with a bang, and I think this is a good opportunity.”
While Rockhold gets an A for “Asshole”, the truth in his statements mainly resides in the fact that star fighters are being slowly but intentionally squeezed from Strikeforce like the fat from Joe Riggs and the fact that Strikeforce may entirely cease to exist once its three year contract with Showtime expires. It’s pretty sad, because even after the replacement of Alistair Overeem with *fart* Daniel Cormier, this is still a downright decent card.