Report: Strikeforce Closing Doors After January Event; Ronda Rousey Moving to UFC
By FCF Staff
Strikeforce’s recently announced January 12th card, which is set to feature three title fights, will reportedly be the promotion’s last. In addition, as a result of the promotion closing shop, rising star and bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey will reportedly move to the UFC and will become that promotion’s first ever, women’s champion.
TMZ was the first to report the news, however, neither parent company ZUFFA, Strikeforce or its broadcasting partner Showtime have made any announcement. MMA Fighting is also reporting that sources have informed the outlet that the story is accurate.
Speculation surrounding the future of Strikeforce has been ongoing since UFC parent company ZUFFA acquired the promotion. Although at the time of the acquisition ZUFFA relayed its intentions to keep Strikeforce operating as a competitor, several of its top stars like Alistair Overeem, Cung Le and Nick Diaz, were brought to the UFC shortly after.
More recently, Strikeforce has been forced to cancel two shows, due to injuries that have affected scheduled main events and the decision of Showtime to not broadcast the cards.
If Rousey is indeed headed to the UFC, it would mark a significant shift for the promotion and more specifically its President Dana White. For some time, White questioned whether there was enough women competitors to facilitate a women’s division in the UFC. More recently, however, as the charismatic and dynamic Rousey has become a significant MMA star, White relayed that he had changed his mind and that women would be fighting in the Octagon soon,
The move to shutter Strikeforce and introduce women in the UFC is also likely a move by ZUFFA to deepen its roster. 2012 has seen the expanded schedule of the UFC struggle to carry high profile fights in the wake of injuries.