Despite the Sherdog-like nature of the BE forums after the card was over, reallistically, very little has changed for Strikeforce in either the short or long-term. Let's go down a nice, simple laundry list of why Strikeforce - A.K.A. Shitfarce according to some of our more colorful denizens liked calling it after a few drinks - will still be in business come Monday.1) They've got plenty of fighters under contract for a long time and have a large regional base out in California. Shields is a free agent (more on him later), but they've still got Lawal, Diaz, Lawlor, Mousasi, Rogers, Arlovski, and nominally Overeem and Fedor among others. Through affiliations with DREAM, they've got limited access to their talent pool, including Aoki, Fernandes, Galvao, Zaromskis, Manhoef, Hansen, Souza and fan-favorite Minowa. None of those fighters outside of possibly Jacare Souza will be winning fights against the current Strikeforce champs (Aoki and Z both lost their shots, obviously), but they're still worthy of compelling matchups that many hardcores like us will happily watch. We might not exactly buy an Aoki-Melendez rematch on a PPV, but I wouldn't mind seeing Gil take on Hansen and Calvacante. In a similar vein, we get to watch Nick Diaz fight Sakurai, so fights like this are compelling.
2) Assuming CBS pulls the plug, they've still got Showtime. Will people buy Showtime just so they can watch SF once a month? Probably not, but it's certainly a factor. If I find myself with some extra disposable income for the long term, I'd consider getting Showtime in addition to my basic cable because that is one of the positives. Dexter, Californication, Weeds and one of the best NFL shows also makes that an attractive way to spend $, but it is a factor. They are still on television and still promoting cards.
3) After a moderately boring 111 card (I was there live and outside of a couple matches, my pants weren't exactly flag-poled) and the insanity that Silva put on at 112, people are losing their shit over three decisions and a dumpster fire of a post-fight courtesy of a couple of the biggest donkeys in the sport? I'll touch on the post fight later, but Lawal and Shields did nothing different than what John Fitch has been doing for years. I think in Shields' case, that isn't even giving him enough credit, since he was actively trying to finish Henderson on multiple occasions, as opposed to Fitch's usual "stay active, staying on top, generally not damaging a lot but not getting stood up, soul-sucking grinding" tactics. Hell, if I'm being the devil's advocate, Mo had some fantastic takedowns up til the very end, despite being gassed early. Yes it would have been great had any of those fights ended before 25 minutes, but decisions are not the end of the world. I'll also point out that how Melendez fought is how Silva should have been fighting Leites and Maia. Don't whine about them trying to pull guard, punch them in the face.
4) On Jake Shields leaving. If Dana White signs Shields to a long-term, high-paying deal, I will eat my hat. Shields is a fairly unexciting fighter with little power in his hands and a proven ability to bore a crowd if he is unable to finish you. He's got 25 wins with 3 tkos, and tons of decisions. He is the antithesis of the type of fighter that the UFC likes. Would you care for some examples? Behind door number one..... THE NEW YORK BAD AAAAAAAAASSSSSSSSSS PHIL BAROOOOOOOOOOOOOOOONNNIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII. While I'm at it, Kimbo Slice, Forrest Griffin, Shane Carwin, Paul Daley. Wide range of abilities, skill and rankings, very few of them are at fault for a boring fight. I guarantee you that none of them ever have been or ever will be warned by the ref for "action" while in the mount position. The UFC may still end up signing him, but there's no chance in hell they bring in another John Fitch type and pay him big dollars. I predict that Shields re-signs and gets Souza next before a possible rematch with Miller. Miller might get Diaz first if they promote it properly as a grudge match.
5) They sell tickets. They have a network deal. They're still the second biggest MMA company in the US and by that line, the world. They're certainly on par with DREAM or Sengoku and no one is yelling that the sky is falling on those promotions just yet. They have their own problems in the Japanese market, but they're still around and viable. The UFC holds the majority of top10 fighters, but not all and there's plenty to go around. Recent UFC cuts include Brad Blackburn, Jason High, Fabricio Camoes among many others. None of those three are truly terrible fighters and will make perfectly acceptable roster pickups - the first two would do just fine to thicken up SF's shallow welterweight division. Promotions like Bellator have proven that there is a market for MMA outside of just the UFC and Strikeforce will be part of it.
6) The post-fight. Look, Melendez and the Diaz brothers screwed up like I haven't seen a screwup in a long time. Mayhem was being his usual self-aggrandizing self and probably deserved an egg to the face for stealing Shields' spotlight, but jumping a guy, including sucker punches, kidney shots and kicking someone underneath a pile is obviously bullshit and should not be tolerated by the commissions. I'm not gonna go all outraged on this subject because I'm not, but its clearly beyond the line of acceptable. I agree with Brookhouse in hoping they suspend the fools, but I think a year might be unwarranted. I'd be fine for 6 months or perhaps less.