The injury bug has bitten fighters left and right the past few months, and it may be the final nail in Strikeforce's proverbial coffin. The organization was forced to cancel their September 29 show after Gilbert Melendez withdrew due to injury, and now the November 3 card has been gutted as a result of injuries.
What started out out as a stacked card is now unrecognizable, and certainly not worth airing without MAJOR changes. It is not a matter of filling one lost spot, but all three of the main fights on the card. Cormier vs Mir, Rockhold vs Larkin, and McMann vs Carmouche was a solid base for the card, but fighters have begun to drop like flies, and Strikeforce lacks the depth to fill the void. Mir was the first to go down, and the search for a fighter to take on Daniel Cormier began, but it may be for naught. Yesterday the card lost MW champion Luke Rockhold to a wrist injury, and now top 135 pound WMMA prospect Sara McMann has had to pull out as well.
It seems almost inevitable that the only solution will be to cancel the card, unless Zuffa decides to send over some UFC fighters to save the event. This is a possibility, as they had already booked Mir for this event, but it appears highly unlikely at this point. Tonight on Inside MMA a report surfaced that would indicate we may have seen the last fight under the Strikeforce banner.
Keep reading after the jump to see the report Kenny Rice delivered tonight.
Inside MMA has heard from multiple sources that the relationship between Strikeforce and Showtime may be coming to an end. We are being told that the November 3rd event is in serious jeopardy, and there's a strong possibility that Showtime will no longer broadcast Strikeforce events. This could very possibly signify the end of the Strikeforce brand. Strikeforce was purchased by Zuffa in March of 2011. We have to receive any word from either Showtime or Strikeforce as this development continues.
These are merely rumors, but they are certainly plausible given the recent chain of events in Strikeforce. If a second event in a row is indeed canceled, it would make sense that Showtime would want to cut ties with Strikeforce/Zuffa. There is no benefit to anyone involved to have fighters under contract for an organization that cannot give them fights on a regular basis. The Strikeforce roster has been heavily depleted by fighters being brought to the UFC, and it no longer has the personnel to remain a functional, productive MMA organization.
There has been no word as of yet from Showtime or Zuffa personnel, but it seems likely if this event cannot be salvaged it will be the end of Strikeforce. At this point we can do no more than speculate, but keep checking Bloody Elbow as the staff here will surely keep us all updated as this story plays out.