We live in a nation with a two-party system of government. Sure, there's a host of other parties out there but, when it comes down to it, the actions of the Republicans and Democrats are all that matters. Sorry Senator Nader but it's the truth.
So what's the relevance of this? This idea of two groups at the very top translates to mixed martial arts as well. People enjoy competition and having two "warring factions", if you will, adds to that dynamic. Most people will take a side, one way or another, and the competition will cause each group to put out a better product. We saw this throughout the 90s in pro wrestling. With MMA based around a similar promotional model it's no surprise that this appears in MMA as well.
As soon as the Ultimate Fighter became a cable television hit and brought the UFC brand into the public eye, it was only a matter of time before a number two promotion came along. We saw this in the form of EliteXC but mismanagement changed all of that. What EliteXC did do was help put MMA on network television and increase the fanbase of our sport. With the company gone it is only a matter of time before another company fills that void. Many a prudent analyst have guestimated as to who that company will be. To me, there is absolutely no doubt that company will be Strikeforce.
EliteXC on CBS opened up a lot of eyes that MMA can be a succesfull television venture for networks to undertake. Strikeforce already has a deal with NBC and rumors that a live event will be broadcast early next year are becoming stronger everyday. With a primetime network deal and a quality of management seen nowhere in mixed martial arts outside of the UFC (something EliteXC was lacking) then it seems that the stars are aligning for Strikeforce to emerge as the number two promotion.
The UFC is also making a big mistake in not capitalizing on the success of women's MMA and Strikeforce will no doubt not make the same mistake. Gina Carano is a valuable commodity and the amount of female fighters that are both marketable and legitimate grows all the time.
In the demise of EliteXC it appears as of now that the only fighter guaranteed to enter the UFC is Jake Shields. Kimbo Slice, Brett Rogers, and Dave Herman could bring some entertaining heavyweight clashes to Strikeforce. Cung Le, Frank Shamrock, and Phil Baroni could be complemented very well with the additions of guys like Robbie Lawler, Scott Smith, Benji Radach, Joey Villasenor, or Jorge Santiago.
The sky is the limit for Strikeforce at the current juncture. The opportunity for success at this point is in their hands and, barring any self-inflicted roadblocks, there is nothing standing in their way.
The FanPosts are solely the subjective opinions of Bloody Elbow readers and do not necessarily reflect the views of Bloody Elbow editors or staff.