It’s pretty damn clear to anyone with a functioning brain that Zuffa just gave Golden Glory a mega-bitchslap / message by firing three of their athletes from two of their promotions. What’s more interesting is hearing what official line will be given for what’s happening. It won’t surprise me if Dana White lays it all out and says fuck ‘em when asked after UFC 133. But in the meantime, here’s Scott Coker on Mauro Ranallo’s Fight Show trying to pretend nothing untowards happened yesterday:
There’s only so many TV spots, as you know, before the middle of next year. …The slots are going to be for the fighters that are victorious right now. And we have a lot of athletes under contract and we have to get everyone a fight and there are only so many slots so . There are only so many TV dates and we only have two more TV dates on the big show before the end of the year and September is already full and December is getting full and January is our finals and that’s going to have our full priorities. So in fairness to the athletes, why just have them hang around? I think it’s a much more fair situation to let them fight elsewhere and have them build another future somewhere else.
So what happens in the middle of next year? Hmm. What was it again. Oh yeah … Strikeforce’s deal with Showtime comes up for renewal. And while Showtime has the option to extend things until 2014, this is starting to sound less and less likely. First the UFC took Nick Diaz. Then they fired Alistair Overeem (a fact Showtime was so unhappy about they pretended it didn’t happen during last weekend’s show). Getting rid of Fedor is almost guaranteed, and Hendo is probably gone too. In a few short months Zuffa has dismantled half of what Showtime spent so much effort meddling to create. Does this sound like a situation where Showtime says ‘Sign me up for 2 more years’?