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Tuesday, Dec 04, 2012

Full Contact Fighter’s “The Daily Takedown”: UFC Should Let Strikeforce Champions Defend Titles in the UFC

Strikeforce Lightweight Champion Gilbert Melendez

By Joshua Molina

The UFC botched the acquisition of Strikeforce for what amounted to political reasons.

But there’s still a chance to salvage a grain of Strikeforce’s potential.

If Strikeforce does fold after Jan. 12, the UFC should allow the Strikeforce fighters to bring their championship belts with them, and remain champion.

There’s no reason why the UFC could not continue Strikeforce under the UFC banner.

There’s big money to made by having separate champions in each weight class.

If for example, Luke Rockhold is allowed to be Strikeforce Middleweight Champion in the UFC, it would create a new set of possible title shots – and a new revenue stream for the company.

If Dana White is hell-bent on creating a superfight between those guys, he could at least have a Strikeforce Champion in place to defend the titles.

All those guys clamoring to fight Anderson Silva would have another title option. The winner of the Nate Marquardt vs. Tarec Saffiedine fight could defend the Strikeforce Welterweight title.

Ultimately, the UFC could lead up to a unification belt – where the winner carries around both belts. Have you seen Floyd Mayweather Jr. lately? He has more gold than Fort Knox hanging around his waist and shoulders.

More titles and belts add to the sport’s intrigue; they don’t take away from it.

The UFC badly wants to be the only MMA promotion in the world. This drive is so bad that even though the UFC owns Strikeforce, it still attempted to hurt the promotion by stealing some of its top fighters, rather than letting them shine as a separate entity in the Strikeforce, and declined to invest significantly into the marketing of the product.

Rockhold, Gilbert Melendez and Daniel Cormier arent second-rate fighters because they haven’t fought in the UFC. The UFC only hurts itself by perpetuating the myth the UFC is the only brand that matters.

If the UFC played its cards right, it could send guys like Silva and Benson Henderson out to promote the UFC titles and Rockhold and Melendez out to promote their championships.

Twice the intrigue. Twice drama. Twice the revenue stream.

If Dana White came out today promoting the Strikeforce champions and top contenders the fans would start to believe in them too.

Over time, the public would buy into the inherent drama of multiple champions creating multiple fight possibilities.

Every year in the NFL, the NBA and the MLB, the two best teams from each league battle for the championship. The UFC could do the same.

The UFC hurts itself and the sport of MMA by eroding, squeezing and shrinking the Strikeforce talent pool.

It already threw away millions of dollars by buying Strikeforce and then wasting its potential.

The UFC should use the power of its strong brand recognition to HELP the Strikeforce fighters, not make them “prove themselves” in the UFC.

That helps nobody.

posted by JoshuaM @ 8:19 pm
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