On Saturday Dana White announced that Zuffa had purchased rival mixed martial arts promotion, Strikeforce. The UFC had firmly established itself as the premiere mixed martial arts organization, but Strikeforce had emerged as a clear number 2. Many people were shocked to learn of the purchase and speculation began to swirl. While fighters, agents, and bloggers all are giving their two cents I believe a lot is still unclear. However, there are some things which are clear.
This deal is indeed a “Game Changer”. Listen, I am a capitalist. I love seeing competition. I believe that competition breeds success. When there is comeptition in business or sports we see a better product. Alos, I am certain that competition drives up fighters’ pay. For now, it seems that Zuffa has a near monopoly on the mixed martial arts world. In just a few months time Japanese promotion Sengoku has nearly collapsed and many of their fighters have been released and signed elsewhere. FEG, the parent company of DREAM appears to be headed in the same direction. Bellator appears to be doing well, but it is uncertain how long they can financially sustain themselves. There is no question that most of the talent is now under the Zuffa banner. Some people hate the idea of a monopoly. However, I believe this could be a good thing. Boxing was destroyed by having countless promotions and countless champions and fans became confused. Now there is the chance that the UFC would contain all the best guys and the best guys could fight one another. For years fans wondered if Fedor could beat the UFC guys, that may be a question for yesteryear.
I think in the end the fans win. Zuffa is a proven business who knows how the promote mixed martial arts. The Strikeforce product will improve noticeably.
It will be interesting to see how this unfolds as time goes on. Any other commentary is mere speculation.