Opinion: Zuffa, Showtime Decide to Shake Things Up
By Michael Hatamoto
The MMA world was shook upside down earlier in the week when the UFC confirmed Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix winner Daniel Cormier will meet former UFC heavyweight champion Frank Mir inside the Strikeforce cage.
Mir already lost against Junior Dos Santos earlier in the year, and it will be a long road before he’s able to compete for the heavyweight championship again.
Win or lose, both men will leave behind Strikeforce and head into the UFC cage in early 2013. The fight should also strengthen the relationship between Showtime and Zuffa, as Strikeforce ratings should see a boost from Mir’s presence.
Cormier vs. Mir will take place in October, after the September 29th, Strikeforce card, which will be headlined by Strikeforce lightweight champion Gilbert Melendez defending his championship against Pat Healy.
Unfortunately for both lightweights, they aren’t going to be able to jump from Strikeforce to the UFC any time soon. If Melendez tops Healy – which MMA journalists and hardcore fans expect, despite Healy being a tough opponent to finish – there won’t be anyone left for him to fight.
There is truly no upside for a UFC lightweight to jump to Strikeforce for a fight, as the division won’t be folding soon.
For anyone actually buying into the Strikeforce hype by company CEO Scott Coker, I only have this to say: Don’t hold your breath.
There just aren’t enough superstars currently fighting under the Strikeforce banner. Women’s MMA superstar Ronda Rousey has been able to get in the headlines, and some are calling her the face of ZUFFA, but she’s just one fighter. The Strikeforce brand may receive a boost from Rousey and Cormier vs. Mir, but there isn’t much to look forward to in late 2012-early 2013.