I watched the interview with Dana and Ariel (www.bloodyelbow.com/2011/3/12/2046507/ufc-purchases-strikeforce-dominance-of-american-mma-landscape) and throughout it Dana keeps making it out to be no big deal, saying that Strikeforce will be an autonomous organisation, just that they're earning for Zuffa now, and that Coker is still the man and can do what he likes. But at the same time he keeps saying "we needed more fights". I don't understand how the Strikeforce deal really achieves "more fights" rather than "more money", except in the small way that we can presume they'll be scheduling events to complement each other now rather than compete, unless Dana's not giving us the whole story...which of course should shock nobody.
There are lots of rumours flying around about what the whole story could be, some from reputable sources and journalists and some from total eejits I know in real life that started watching the fights when Brock won the belt - and everyone in between. If there's anything Dana loves more than Pinkberry and spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on sabretooth bones, it's killing the competition but they're really stressing the point that they've chosen not to kill Strikeforce, and Dana's certainly not gloating the way he normally would.
Also it's been part of Dana's MO for a long time now to bring the best fighters in the world under the UFC banner, and what seems to have fans most excited about this deal is the possibility of Strikeforce fighters coming to the UFC, either permanently or for individual fights. Some people seem to think Strikeforce will be disbanded in no time and that we'll have Overeem fighting for the belt by christmas. I doubt it will, and we won't. When Dana says the contracts with Strikeforce still stand I believe him and I guess it's easy to forget that the things that stood in the way of guys like Alistair, Fedor and Aoki fighting in the UFC are still standing in the way, and where some people are seeing dream fights I think the more likely situation is that we just won't be seeing these guys fighting in America at all anymore - if not with Strikeforce. It's feasible that Alistair would take a break from kickboxing to test the waters in the UFC, it's feasible that, having lost, Fedor will bite the bullet and commit to fighting in the best organisation in the world for the first time in a very long time and it is feasible that Aoki would take a short contract, putting another nail in to the coffin of Japanese MMA, to more than likely suffer beatings as bad or worse than the one he got off Gilly. It's feasible but unlikely, and these three specific examples are made no more likely by the implicit power Zuffa will now have in negotiating with Strikeforce and fighters under contract with Strikeforce.
Of course Aoki, Fedor and THE REEM are not the only three fighters Strikeforce has that the UFC might want, and that most of us want to see in the UFC, but when you really scrutinise the list it's not as long as it seems, or at least not as appealing.
Josh Barnett - will never fight in the UFC again, probably past it
Fabricio Werdum - didn't quite cut it in the UFC, despite the Fedor thing
Andrei Arlovski - career is probably over
Sergei Kharitonov - let's see how the rest of the SF tourney goes
Dan Henderson - who knows
Renato Sobral - washed out of the UFC
Paul Daley - will never fight in the UFC again according to Dana
Nick Diaz - would love him back in the UFC, but can you imagine it happening?
So ignoring those fighters, and Fedor/Overeem/Aoki which I talked about earlier, as far as I'm concerned you're left with about fifteen fighters, mostly either at the beginning of their careers or approaching the end, that could be "brought to the UFC" or "fighting back and forth" that everyone seems excited about. For me, there are very few fighters here I could see surviving or thriving in the UFC or that the UFC would be too excited about acquiring, for these reasons.
More famous than talented:
Still only good at one thing:
Roger Gracie (sorry),
Melvin Manhoef (but I still love you),
(sub-heading still only a wrestler: King Mo, Daniel Cormier)
Exciting but probably not good enough:
Shane del Rosario,
Ovince St. Preux.
By my count this leaves: Rafael Feijao (just got KTFO so it's hard to be too hyped right now), Gegard Mousasi (it breaks my heart, but he's probably the new Denis Kang), Antonio "Bigfoot" Silva who is a pleasant and talented fighter but who will never sell a PPV and still relies too much on the fact that he was a bantamweight on the day he was born, Tim Kennedy (maybe), Gilbert Melendez who I would love to see at 155 or 145 in the UFC and Jacare who, in my opinion, is the fighter with the most potential currently fighting in Strikeforce.
I could be a denier of the Moon landings, I could believe Dana killed JFK and I would still have a hard time believing that Zuffa bought Strikeforce for some unfeasible amount of money to give themselves more of a chance at getting their hands on ANTONIO SILVA, GILBERT MELENDEZ and RONALDO SOUZA. I think, for once, I might take Dana White at his word.
I had no intention of writing such a long post but there you have it, why I don't think the big Strikeforce deal is that big of a deal at all. The thought of an influx of new fighters in to the UFC is obviously exciting but since first hearing about the Strikeforce deal I've quickly gotten less and less excited. Please feel free to call me an idiot.