Drug Issues Taint Strikeforce Legacy Post-Zuffa Purchase

Alistair Overeem is the last Strikeforce alum or current fighter to cause Zuffa headaches due to drug issues. (Photo by Joe Scarnici/Getty Images for Bacardi)

Man, Strikeforce is making a hell of an accounting of itself these days, isn't it?

As I read the news Wednesday about Alistair Overeem's drug test failure, it set in just how bad a few months it's been for some of the top Strikeforce talent that either moved over to the UFC or that were among their top remaining stars.

While the WEC transplants have exceeded expectations, its uglier cousin via acquisition hasn't exactly done the Zuffa bosses proud.

Here's a few highlights:

Alistair Overeem

I'm not sure what else to say on this whole mess other than I'm glad people didn't pretend to be surprised. The debacle Overeem took the Nevada State Athletic Commission through before his December bout with Brock Lesnar should have been foreshadowing, but apparently Overeem thought he could beat the law -- even when he knew he would be randomly tested as part of his December agreement.

Dana White is mad and justifiably so. Putting aside the comments about lying to his face, White now has to shuffle around the upper part of UFC 146 and may have lost a potential big star in the process. Not only did he lose Lesnar to retirement, but the other half of the equation could be out for a very long time too? That's the ultimate lose-lose.


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"King" Mo Lawal

I understand there's been a strong sympathy play since Lawal was released from his Zuffa contract last week following his own positive drug test suspension and subsequent social media outburst, but when you're not fully over as a star to the mainstream MMA fan, you lose protection privileges.

For Lawal, it's been a horrendous few months with his myriad of medical issues and the loss of an opportunity to keep building up his star power in an organization that desperately needs it. The smart money is that he'll eventually get a shot again, but he's out for most of this year and at age 31, the clock is ticking at how much of an impact player he'll be upon his return.

Cris "Cyborg" Santos

The now former and likely final 145-pound women's champion is awaiting her April 9th hearing to appeal her drug test failure. (Note a recurring theme, anyone?) Women's MMA needs all the help it can get and having one of its most notable fighters on the shelf for a long, long time is a killer, likely eliminating the division from Strikeforce altogether. There's still some semblance of money to be made from a Santos/Ronda Rousey fight but that's a long way off, if it ever happens.

Nick Diaz

Ah, Mr. Diaz. Is there anything else to say at this point about him? He had two fights since being brought back to the UFC and is now out indefinitely after testing positive for marijuana metabolites, putting one of the biggest money fights the promotion has on ice. He awaits a May hearing and is already preparing his defense, while getting ready to hit the competitive BJJ mats again.

I understand that not every Strikeforce fighter can be painted with the same brush and that for every Diaz, there's a Dan Henderson and for every Lawal, there's a Cung Le. But given Overeem's situation exploding on Wednesday, it's pretty incredible to look at the consistency of various drug related issues with some of Strikeforce's biggest names.

More SBN coverage of UFC 146

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