Bare with me through this rant.
For the past few months, all we have been hearing about from the MMA universe is the Progression of Strikeforce, their great HW roster, and the unheraldedHeavyweight Grand Prix that Strikeforce is putting on. The great Fedor, the ADCC Champion, the K-1 champion etc... The fighters were all either great at one point, or are on the rise.
Yet here we are, after a very successful first opening show with a few upsets, and Strikeforceis already at a stand-still. Strikeforce, who originally planned on hosting the 2nd show of the HW GP on April 9th (without a venue in mind...really), now might be forced to alter their show from a HWfocused show, to a fight card with the main card fights being Gil Melendez/Kawajiri and Nick Diaz/TBA (which isn't a bad thing...just not what was promised).
Now this is where the problem's come into play.
Strikeforce is unable to promote their HWGP in states with a respectable AC because one of their fighters is unable to get a his fight license.
Let me repeat this. The #2 MMA Promotion in the world, who is supposed to be promoting the greatest HW Grand Prix in the history of MMA, is unable to find a venue to host an event for their HW's, because one of their fighters is unable to get his fighting license.
Can you imagine the UFC trying to promote a tournament with 8 of the best LHW's in the world. And promote a fight between Lyoto Machida and Randy Couture for a few months. Only to have to reschedule the fight, because Machida couldn't get a license to fight....
Critics would be in an uproar. Machida would be ostracised.
Or imagine the UFC scheduling a fight in england, just so they can have Chael Sonnen fight because he's suspended in the US... IT WOULD NEVER HAPPEN!
Yet no one is talking about the ramifications that it might have on MMA as a sport. Lets play the role of Bob Reilly for a minute.
If I'm Bob Reilly, trying to bring down the sport of MMA, I need to look no further then Josh Barnett and Strikeforce. The fact that the man is a multiple time steroid offender, and can't get a license to fight in California or Nevada, yet he's still being promoted by the 2nd biggest MMA promotion in the world... C'mon.
Is this any different from when Margarito was able to fight in Texas andBE went into an uproar? (I understand that Margarito was suspended for loading his gloves, but being a multiple steroid offender can ethically be just as bad as loading gloves...your loading your whole body).
Either way. In MY OPINION, it set's Strikeforce and MMA back as a whole. The fact that Strikeforce is openly willing to compromise the values and standards of MMA AC's by searching for a Athletic commision who is so lax, or non-existent, that they will allow Barnett to fight...doesn't that look bad on all parties involved?
Now, I know Barnett is a great fighter. In fact, I think that he will win this whole Grand Prix (if all the fights come to fruition). And I'm not saying that he should not be allowed to fight again. I think that Strikeforce should either bide their time, and wait the suspension out (much like the UFC did with Sylvia, Bonner, and Sherk. And like what the UFC WILL DO with Thiago Silva and Chael Sonnen and whoever else tests positive from now until forever). But is he worth the effort, or the possible consequences(what if he tests positive after winning in the 2nd round?)? Doubtful...