I used to be all about multiple organizations and co-promotion. However, a couple years ago I changed my tune. I wanted one organization to take over. All of it. The UFC was leagues above the rest, so I was all for the UFC taking over. It makes things simple, you know who the world champ is, and you get the best fighting the best, all the time. Sounds great, right?
So the UFC goes out and buys out Strikeforce, the only other strong promotion out there. This is what I had been dreaming about. This was what I wanted. But sometimes you get what you've been longing for, only to find yourself wondering why you wanted it in the first place. I was confused, and I had mixed emotions about the purchase. I still do.
The UFC clearly now owns MMA when it comes to the highest level fighters. I'm not saying that there is no chance that another promotion might come along to become another solid #2 and give Dana and the boys headaches. Far from it. But there is a lot to be said about the power that the UFC has. If a promotion won't sink under it's own overspending or incompetence, then the UFC will throw money at it. If you can't drown them with counter programming, poison pill fighters, or shear superiority of product, then you buy them out. Everyone clearly has a price, and bravo to Coker for recognizing his. As someone who wants to see people get their share of the pie, I'm certainly not going to begrudge a man for making a good business decision. Let's face it. Most of us would have done the same.
What this shows, however, is that if there is another promotion that comes up in the world, there will always be a part of fans wondering, "So when will they sell out?" Seriously, why should fans commit to another promotion if, in the back of their heads, they're wondering when said promoter will mess up, or sell out? I mean, who are we kidding? The UFC is so far ahead, that the axe they wield hovers above the heads of every promotion. All roads lead to Rome. And for fans that refuse to believe this? Well, tough shit. Deal with it.
We have all our eggs in one basket now. As a person who deals with people's finances and retirement savings on a daily basis, diversification of investments and risk is the way to go. We have the opposite now with the UFC's purchase of Strikeforce. Don't get me wrong, I am happy that we are that much closer to one organization ruling them all, but the paranoid fanboy in me still fears the worst. If the UFC goes under whether it be a huge scandal or bad business decisions, where does that leave MMA? With a strong #2 like Strikeforce, there was always a way out. When I invest money for clients, I always have an exit strategy, a plan B. We lost Japan, and now we've lost our plan B. As an investment advisor, I should punch myself right in the face.
For better or worse, deep down inside I think we all knew the long term success of MMA was directly tied to the success of the UFC. It's just a complete reality now. To think otherwise, is silly. And to think that the UFC will continue to have Strikeforce's brand out there is ridiculous. Yes, the UFC has too many fighters on roster right now, but you heard Dana; They're expanding, they'll eventually need more fighters, and you can be absolutely certain it isn't going to happen under a brand other than the UFC. And two sets of champs? Forget about it. I give Strikeforce a year. At most.
The other day, I had someone tell me, "I train UFC" with a straight face. I wanted to smack him. But that line, as stupid as it is, doesn't seem so far fetched now. Dana, it's all on you now. Don't fuck things up for us. And please, let us see the rest of the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix.