Does Jason "Mayhem" Miller's UFC Deal Hurt the Strikeforce Brand?

via www.cagetoday.com

Jason "Mayhem" Miller signing with the UFC appears to be the first "Strikeforce fighter" making the jump to the UFC since the Zuffa purchase. Of course, the fact that Miller was a free agent who was desirable for the UFC made it almost hard to justify signing him with a promotion that will eventually be disolved. Still, Luke Thomas made the case at SBNation.com/MMA that the signing devalues the Strikeforce brand and roster:

It's fine news for Miller, the UFC's middleweight division and UFC fans. But it speaks to something I've been mentioning since the UFC's purchase of Strikeforce: how is Strikeforce going to maintain roster integrity?

Think about this for a moment. Can anyone recall WEC lightweights who moved up to the UFC after a stint in the WEC before the brands merged? The notion Strikeforce and the UFC are owned by the same company and yet competing for talent is plainly incoherent.

As true competitors, there are reasons to have signed with Strikeforce despite its size. For fighters like Alistair Overeem or Muhammed Lawal, the freedom to move between weight classes or fight abroad made signing with Strikeforce an attractive proposition. Fighters like Fedor Emelianenko, who felt UFC's contract was onerous or didn't prefer whatever terms they demanded, could sign with Strikeforce to better meet their needs.

I sincerely doubt that there is any long term thinking going on in terms of "building the Strikeforce brand." And even if there were, it's clear that Strikeforce had no real idea of how to use Miller. After losing to Jake Shields in late 2009 for the Strikeforce middleweight title Miller only fought once more under the Strikeforce banner, defeating the overmatched Tim Stout at the infamous Nashville event.

I wouldn't argue with the idea that getting Miller back on the Strikeforce roster would show an ongoing commitment to the Strikeforce brand. But Miller had never been an integral part of the promotion. He went 1-1 during his tenure and the Stout fight was on the untelevised undercard.

When we start seeing the "regulars" from the brand jumping ship, we know that Zuffa is ready to bury Strikeforce. For now, this seems like something that probably would have happened even without the Zuffa purchase.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

Join Bloody Elbow

You must be a member of Bloody Elbow to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Bloody Elbow. You should read them.

Join Bloody Elbow

You must be a member of Bloody Elbow to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Bloody Elbow. You should read them.

Spinner

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_5349_tracker