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Wednesday, Sep 26, 2012

Full Contact Fighter’s “The Daily Takedown”: The Top 5 Ways to Save Strikeforce — and MMA

By Joshua Molina

There’s a lot of hate for Strikeforce right now on MMA websites.

The cancellation of Saturday’s Strikeforce show headlined by Gilbert Melendez vs. Pat Healy has sparked the question of whether Strikeforce even matters anymore.

If Strikeforce is becoming irrelevant, it’s UFC’s fault, which is weird since UFC only stands to benefit by investing in Strikeforce.

Since Zuffa bought Strikeforce, we have seen UFC raid Strikeforce talent; kill the popular Challengers shows; eliminate the heavyweight division; destroy original web site content on Strikeforce.com; and fail to heavily promote any of the Strikeforce shows

Bloggers, some MMA reporters and fans simply don’t get it. Strikeforce could be a saving grace of MMA – if the UFC would just run it like a business, instead of a bust.

Here are the Top 5 ways to save Strikeforce:

5. Bring back the heavyweights. Average fans want to see men bigger than themselves fight. We don’t like “flyweights,” even if we appreciate their quickness. We want to live vicariously through the big men. I guarantee you no fan watches a flyweight fight and says to themselves, “Man, I wish I were small like him.” We want to be big like Alistair Overeem. And we’re not “morons” for thinking that either.

4. Move a few UFC fighters to Strikeforce. I bet there are UFC fighters who would love to move from the DFC – Dana’s Fighting Championship – to Strikeforce, where they could fight more and possibly make more money. The DFC has several strong middleweights. Strikeforce’s middleweight division is weak. I don’t think anyone would turn down a Strikeforce middleweight title shot. You are either a fighter or you are not, right Dana? Make it happen.

3. Alternate monthly UFC and Strikeforce shows. UFC has too many Pay Per Views. Move to six a year, and put a Strikeforce show in the middle on Showtime. This will give the UFC a good 6-8 weeks for the proper promotion of shows. Fans will also get used to expecting to see Strikeforce on Showtime, as opposed to now when they wonder when the next show is.

2. Drop the UFC is The Best in The World act. It’s not true. Mixed martial arts is fighters. It’s not a brand. Does anybody know or care whether Mike Tyson was the WBA or WBC or IBF heavyweight champion. They remember he was a badass in his prime. There are great fighters in the UFC, but there are also great fighters in Strikeforce. UFC owns Strikeforce, yet treats it like dirt. Why? Any fan who believes Strikeforce is full of second-rate fighters is falling for the UFC’s marketing hype. It’s a myth. Great fighters are everywhere, in every promotion. To believe otherwise is to believe that only Dana White has the knowledge and power to determine who a great MMA is.

1. Build to UFC vs. Strikeforce matches. Title vs. Title. Champion vs. Champion. No. 1 contender vs. No. 1 contender. You will create brand loyalty this way. Imagine Luke Rockhold as the Strikeforce champion doing guest color commentary at the Anderson vs. Stephan Bonner fight in the announcers booth. Rockhold simplly stands up and puts his Strikeforce belt in the air. The crowd would go crazy. Portraying the UFC is the best and only brand that matters will ultimately kill the sport.

posted by JoshuaM @ 5:54 pm
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