UFC Parent Company Zuffa, LLC Purchases StrikeforceThe mixed martial arts industry has undergone a drastic change today with the announcement that Ultimate Fighting Championship parent company, Zuffa, LLC, has purchased the UFC’s biggest competitor, Strikeforce. UFC President Dana White first announced the news to MMAFighting.com.

While White stated that Strikeforce will continue to operate with “business as usual” and Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker still at the helm, news of the acquisition caught fighters and other Strikeforce employees off-guard. The San Jose-based Strikeforce is expected to continue to air on Showtime.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, but like the purchase of Pride Fighting Championships in 2007, Zuffa will now gain access to the extensive video library of fight footage from past Strikeforce events. Existing contracts between Strikeforce and its employees will be honoured, according to White, who believed that the current network deal between Strikeforce and Showtime would remain in effect for approximately two more years.

White, himself, has had public feuds with Strikeforce roster members such as former UFC fighters Paul Daley and Josh Barnett, and has stated on multiple occasions that neither will ever compete in the UFC again. The brash UFC president has also had choice words for Showtime’s GM of Sports Programming Ken Hershman. According to White, this situation will be handled by having Coker and members of the UFC brass, such as Lorenzo Fertitta, take care of negotiations with individuals who have had disputes with White in the past.

Though White has assured that things will be “business as usual,” a phrase he repeated multiple times during his interview with MMAFighting.com’s Ariel Helwani, the future of Strikeforce remains uncertain. Once the promotion’s current deal with Showtime is up, Strikeforce could be merged into the UFC as PRIDE, the WEC and much of the IFL and Affliction were in the past. Roster space could then become an issue, though White states that the UFC is still in desperate need of more fighters for more fights.

A key point that White addressed again is that the UFC does not feature female fighters and fights.

Should Strikeforce indeed continue to operate largely in the same capacity as it does now, women’s fights will likely still be showcased and Strikeforce’s two female titleholders, Cristiane “Cyborg” Santos and Marloes Coenen, would retain their championships. However, in the event that a merger does take place – either in the near or distant future – it is unknown whether the UFC will adjust its stance on female fights or whether fighters will be forced to look for employment elsewhere.

Many questions still remain, but the landscape of MMA has certainly changed with the announcement.



(Photo Credit: Sherdog.com)

  1. i really hope for once dana keeps his word. sometimes he does , sometimes he doesn’t. it only makes sense to keep strikeforce , it has its own following and is making money unlike ( quite a few of the other companys zuffa bought). the ufc needs a place for its fighters to go (rather than another company making money off of them)after a couple losses ,. strikeforce gives them this option, plus lots of people like strikeforce just because its a little different than tbhe ufc. plus women fighters are starting to prove they have skills and drawing power . this is a way for the ufc to make money off of womens mma the same way they did for yrs with the 135 and 145 pd divisions. it wouldn’t swurprise me to ssee a couple womens divisions in the ufc in a couple yrs, basically the women are getting notice to keep doing what they are doing .make exciting fights like the kaufman slam . like coenens anderson silva like triangle, these are what gets the fans talking , and believe it , dana listens to the fans . so everyone who is a fan of womens mma should flood danas twitter with support for the women

  2. Second worst thing to happen to MMA and WMMA.
    Hopefully a promotion will go after the women next year.