"The shadow of the axe hangs over every joy. Every road ends in death. Or worse. Every friendship. Every love. Torment, betrayal, loss, suffering, pain, age, indignity, and hideous lingering illness. All with a single conclusion. For you and for every one and every thing that you have chosen to care for."- Cormac McCarthy
I have been busy all day, haven't had a chance to check in on what is happening in the MMA world and when I finally was able to type the words bloodyelbow.com I was met with news that made my heart fall from my chest.
The news is deeply saddening to me. I have closely watched Strikeforce from their beginnings. I have come to love their fighters and the way they fight. It is different from the UFC. I know what some reactions will be to this post. Strikeforce isn't going away, they will be there for another two years, think of all the dream matches down the road, true rankings. I will enjoy all those another day. Today, I grieve the loss of these things:
1. The kinds of fights in Strikeforce- Something has happened in the UFC as the years have passed. The fear and true risk of being cut is overwhelming for many of the fighters. They play it safe and make sure they get the decision. Not all of them but it happens often enough. It is not like that in Strikeforce and that is why we get so many exciting finishes. Once the SHO contract runs out and the Strikeforce brand is buried that fear will reach paralyzing levels for some. Especially the wrestlers who can control on the ground while doing little damage.
2. Freedom Fighters- Some fighters will never be able to fight for the UFC. Guys like Alistair, Fedor, Cung Le, etc won't fight in the UFC because of other interests. Strikeforce gave them and those who might follow a home to let the US audience watch and enjoy them. That goes away now. Along with any leverage any free agent might have. There is one place to do business and you have to play entirely by their rules.
3. The Women- Dana has been adamant that the UFC will never have WMMA. I love WMMA. I have enjoyed watching it grow. I don't want its entire existence in the hands of Bellator.
4. No Second Chance- Guys like Daley won't have anywhere to go for a second chance. Some might applaud that and in some cases I might agree with you. But, the chance to redeem yourself is something a fighter should have in almost every case. I can think of some things but now if Dana says you're done, you're done.
5. Frank Shamrock- I am so, so sorry Frank.
6. Zuffa Will Never Stop- They are the evil empire and the will seek to acquire or destroy every planet they can find in the galaxy they live in. Zuffa will stop at nothing to make sure that they are MMA.
There are many more feelings I have about this. But, generally, just sad. Sad for the fighters, sad for us the fans. Sad for the beautiful sport of MMA.
RIP Strikeforce. You were loved and will be missed.