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Wednesday, Sep 19, 2012

Full Contact Fighter’s “The Daily Takedown:” Bleacher Report is Wrong About Strikeforce

By Joshua Molina

Bleacher Report is a popular sports and pop culture web site, but a recent report illustrates what’s wrong with some members of the MMA media.

In a Sept. 15 article that you can read here, a writer for the site attempts to outline why Strikeforce isn’t as good as UFC.

The story is, again, written from pro-UFC lens. Good journalists should report on MMA, not just the UFC. Good journalists should not act like cheerleaders for the UFC.

The report claims Strikeforce fighters aren’t excited about fighting in Strikeforce. That Gilbert Melendez has never beat a top fighter other than Shinya Aoki. That the Strikeforce talent pool has always been shallow. That Strikeforce fighters are dirty, citing failed drug tests of King Mo and Cris “Cyborg” Santos. That Strikeforce has poor television production.

The writer finally claims that Strikeforce never built a large fan base.

Get real.

I wonder if the writer ever stood inside the San Jose’s HP Pavilion prior to UFC’s purchase?

Outside of Las Vegas and Los Angeles, it’s not easy to fill basketball and hockey arenas. Strikeforce regularly did it because fans wanted to see Fedor Emelianenko, Nick Diaz, Robbie Lawler, Cung Le, Gilbert Melendez, Frank Shamrock, Jake Shields and others.

Showtime’s production, by the way, is far better than what the UFC can offer – if you like fighting and a focus on the fighters.

Mauro Ranallo, Pat Militech and Frank Shamrock KNOW the sport. They aren’t hyping the brand. They are calling the fights.

It’s possible to actually learn about the sport of MMA by listening to those guys. Joe Rogan and Mike Goldberg fit the UFC brand well, but the are always embedding pro-UFC propaganda into their calls.

Jimmy Lennon Jr., by the way, is classy and sophisticated. Compare that to UFC’s Bruce Buffer, who’s delivery style is spastic and distracting.

The writer also says former Strikeforce Lightweight champ Josh Thomson would be a bottom-tiered lightweight in the UFC.

Wonder what Thomson would say to that?

The ultimate rebuttal to the writers ill-informed statements rests with the UFC.

Strikeforce may have been having financial problems when the Silicon Valley investors who owned the company sold it to the UFC, everybody knows why Zuffa bought Strikeforce; to eliminate it’s main competition.

Strikeforce was on CBS. Strikeforce was drawing good ratings on Showtime. Strikeforce was developing a following.

Strikeforce was an emerging threat to the UFC, so much so that the UFC bought it, and is making money off it. Had Fedor not lost to Fabricio Werdum, at Strikeforce moved to Pay Per View, as was the plan, the MMA world would have looked entirely different.

Finally, Strikeforce promoted women’s MMA. UFC doesn’t, but probably will in 2013.

Who is the biggest star in MMA right now? It’s Ronda Rousey, a Strikeforce fighter – prior to Zuffa’s acquisition – and probably the most popular athlete in the sport.

posted by JoshuaM @ 3:09 pm
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