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SBD/March 15, 2011/Leagues and Governing Bodies
Dana White Reiterates UFC, Strikeforce Will Operate Separately, Claims Business As Usual
Published March 15, 2011
CHANGING LANDSCAPE: YAHOO SPORTS' Dave Meltzer wrote, "Two things were clear after the news conference: One is that where Strikeforce goes from here remains a work in progress; the second was a concerted effort to push the idea the combined company does not create a monopoly in the sport of mixed martial arts." Fertitta said, "There are thousands of other promoters, thousands of other options (for fighters), plenty of competition. There's no barrier to entry. Anyone who wants can go in." White: "All you have to do is raise some cash and jump in the business, try and get a TV deal and have some big balls." But Meltzer wrote the "reality is different, at least at present," as "nearly every major star and potential legitimate championship-level fighter in the sport is now locked up and under contract to Zuffa." Both White and Fertitta "talked of running more shows in markets like Europe, Asia and Australia." Fertitta noted that there is a "demand for more shows than the company is supplying, particularly in the U.K. and Australia." But as a TV and PPV product in North America, there are "questions about whether the company is hitting the saturation point." Meanwhile, under the terms of the deal, Coker "gets a long-term contract to work for Zuffa but no ownership stake" (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 3/14). SI.com's Steve Marrocco wrote the UFC's acquisition of Strikeforce "could provide a peek into the future of the sport's landscape." Marrocco: "For all intents and purposes, Zuffa LLC now has a monopoly -- at least until the next rival comes around and the battle starts once again. But after Saturday's sea change, I have doubts about when the UFC will have another serious competitor, if ever" (SI.com, 3/14).