Ok, so time has passed and the initial blow of this purchase has done its damage and I am recovering slowly, now looking to the future. Chris Barton made a good point in my last fan post that I should wipe the slate clean again. In other words, give this new union a chance. I am always going to be disappointed that there is not an autonomous #2 organization that simply has a different identity from the UFC brand. However, the center of my angst over this deal was for the fighters and the challenges they now face. The only way that is assuaged for me is if Zuffa works to promote the Strikeforce brand independent of the UFC. This can be done in a variety of ways, let me illustrate.
First, let the two entities operate truly as "business as usual". Give Dana his budget to operate the UFC and give Scott his. Let Scott continue to hire fighters that have other interests. Fighters like the Reem or Sergei who compete in K-1. Fighters who want to regularly compete in Sambo, ADCC, even Pro Wrestling. Let the fighters in Strikeforce retain their likeness and maintain their freedom with their sponsors. The UFC will always be able to make tons of revenue and offer their fighters a solid financial package. Strikeforce can remain the alternative, maybe not offer more money but more freedom, and the two entities can bid for the fighters and offer two different financial futures tailored to their goals.
Let's use a hypothetical to illustrate. Let's say Brock Lesnar loses his next fight against JDS. I have heard he has two fights left, from others one fight. This is a hypothetical so let's say that this is the last on his current contract. The UFC brand can make their offer. Brock coming off two losses (and the near loss to Carwin) is different from the Brock of UFC 100. Still, they would make a lucrative offer, just not as lucrative as what he has received in the past. Strikeforce, on the other hand, offers less but gives Brock greater freedom over his likeness and freedom to work a WWE show a year. Brock takes the Strikeforce deal and is booked to face the loser of the Gran Prix, say it's Josh Barnett, with the winner getting a shot at the Strikeforce and lineal World title holder, which now you can actually explain and promote to fans. That's a damn exciting fight, with enticing implications, and a great way for Brock to work his way back.
Another hypothetical that has already been discussed at length is letting Randy Couture go to Strikeforce for the long discussed fight with Fedor. Now, this format not only gives us exciting new fights to look forward to but it also creates more high profile cards that other fighters can fill out the under card. On the flip side, the UFC gets to bid on fighters like Gil Melendez, who can finally prove if he is the #1 LW in the world, and now that Alistair has won the K-1 make him a lucrative offer to fight the top of the division.
This kind of scenario, at the very least, gives the fighters more high profile cards to make a solid wage and it gives them a certain amount of freedom to make the most money they can in the sport, as it is currently constructed. We, as fans, would still get to see some of the Superfights we want to see. If done right, the parent company is the one that is served best in this scenario. They have two thriving entities with their own distinct brand.
Finally, what would have to happen is if a situation arose where there was a distinct #1 in the world in one brand and a #2 in the other, that fight happens. Put it on a UFC PPV but let that fight happen.
If Zuffa is going to do what we all expect them to do and simply wait out the Strikeforce SHO contract and their fighter's contracts this will look exactly like the WWE acquisition of WCW and the Zuffa acquisitions of Pride and WEC. I would be immensely disappointed if that is the way things went down and I think it would not help the sport. But, as Chris advised, I will wipe the slate clean and see what happens. Hopefully not only Zuffa, but MMA and its fighters, will benefit from this game changing acquisition.