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Old 03-14-2011, 10:49 AM   #16
Will Cooling
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Default Re: Couture on the deal

To answer your question first Scru, Coker basically has a status in Strikeforce akin to White - he owns a bit of it but behind him there are silent partners that control the vast majority of the company. They got sick of the hassle that came with trying to run a national promotion and wanted out. Once Zuffa found out Strikeforce was for sale they were always going to make the best offer. Unless of course Showtime was willing to make a bid themselves (which they almost did with EliteXC) but that doesn't seem to have been an option.

Whether a new number two organisation is created really depends on the opportunities that are created by television companies, specifically Showtime. People have to remember that in 2009 it looked like the UFC had secured its monoply with the collapse of EliteXC and Affliction only for Strikeforce to pick up some of the best assets of those organisations and successfully go national. If Showtime falls out with Zuffa then its possible that the same thing happens, especially given how many fighters are on bad terms with the UFC and wouldn't want to return.

What makes this deal more damaging to the potential for competition is that Strikeforce was an organisation with momentum, not one that was as good as dead a la Affliction or Pride. They had posted excellent numbers for Diaz vs. Cyborg and Fedor vs. Silva. They also have a full roster of talent that hasn't been depleted or rundown.

One of the interesting things will be to what extent Zuffa forces Strikeforce fighters to sign exclusive contracts - most Strikeforce fighters are allowed to take fights elsewhere but its hard to see Zuffa be willing to permit that in the long term. And getting all the fighters on standard Zuffa contracts will be an essential precondition of merging the two organisations. That does leave open the rather disturbing propsect of a roster in Strikeforce that is divided between those that are exclusively fighting for Zuffa and those that aren't - which would surely lead to the temptation of exclusive fighters being advanced at the expense of non-exclusive fighters. Of course with Sengoku, Dream and K-1 all seemingly on the brink of death one has to wonder how many will reject an exclusive contract if its offered to them.

As for fighters future leverage, I think competition is a very unreliable way to secure fighters leverage. It tends to favour marketable stars over successful fighters, as one can see by Tito Ortiz being resigned in 2009 to stop him going to Strikeforce. Plus competiting promotions makes it too easy for fighters to cherry pick opposition. A union is the key thing. What it needs however is fighters to work together to form one and secure collective bargaining rights. I doubt that will ever happen, not because of the UFC's opposition (not that I doubt that they oppose it) because I can't see the big name fighters throwing their weight behind the deal as necessary.
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Old 03-14-2011, 10:59 AM   #17
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Default Re: Couture on the deal

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Originally Posted by Will Cooling View Post
To answer your question first Scru, Coker basically has a status in Strikeforce akin to White - he owns a bit of it but behind him there are silent partners that control the vast majority of the company. They got sick of the hassle that came with trying to run a national promotion and wanted out. Once Zuffa found out Strikeforce was for sale they were always going to make the best offer. Unless of course Showtime was willing to make a bid themselves (which they almost did with EliteXC) but that doesn't seem to have been an option.

Whether a new number two organisation is created really depends on the opportunities that are created by television companies, specifically Showtime. People have to remember that in 2009 it looked like the UFC had secured its monoply with the collapse of EliteXC and Affliction only for Strikeforce to pick up some of the best assets of those organisations and successfully go national. If Showtime falls out with Zuffa then its possible that the same thing happens, especially given how many fighters are on bad terms with the UFC and wouldn't want to return.

What makes this deal more damaging to the potential for competition is that Strikeforce was an organisation with momentum, not one that was as good as dead a la Affliction or Pride. They had posted excellent numbers for Diaz vs. Cyborg and Fedor vs. Silva. They also have a full roster of talent that hasn't been depleted or rundown.

One of the interesting things will be to what extent Zuffa forces Strikeforce fighters to sign exclusive contracts - most Strikeforce fighters are allowed to take fights elsewhere but its hard to see Zuffa be willing to permit that in the long term. And getting all the fighters on standard Zuffa contracts will be an essential precondition of merging the two organisations. That does leave open the rather disturbing propsect of a roster in Strikeforce that is divided between those that are exclusively fighting for Zuffa and those that aren't - which would surely lead to the temptation of exclusive fighters being advanced at the expense of non-exclusive fighters. Of course with Sengoku, Dream and K-1 all seemingly on the brink of death one has to wonder how many will reject an exclusive contract if its offered to them.

As for fighters future leverage, I think competition is a very unreliable way to secure fighters leverage. It tends to favour marketable stars over successful fighters, as one can see by Tito Ortiz being resigned in 2009 to stop him going to Strikeforce. Plus competiting promotions makes it too easy for fighters to cherry pick opposition. A union is the key thing. What it needs however is fighters to work together to form one and secure collective bargaining rights. I doubt that will ever happen, not because of the UFC's opposition (not that I doubt that they oppose it) because I can't see the big name fighters throwing their weight behind the deal as necessary.
Good post. Im aware of Coker's status as a figure head of the organisation. What doesn't seem to be apparent is the motivation behind the sale of SF as it looks like they were in talks for at least 6 months to a year.
I know Pro Elite were in the bidding but nothing materialised and in swept the UFC when Coker said the UFC was not an option. It makes no sense. May be more information in the coming weeks months will shed more light on the situation but im not banking on it.

As for a collective bargaining agreement there wont be one. The UFC is not league and doesn't operate as one.
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Old 03-14-2011, 11:07 AM   #18
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Not really Yaca, there will be a number two org I guess. But that doesnt automatically guarantee it being on the level of Strikeforce does it

In MMA I think it's fair to see that everything Strikeforce was was built of the back of Shamrock and Cung. The Heaveyweight tourney and Dream co promotions were a step in the right direction and saw SF's credability jump in leaps and bounds. Only in the last 12 months could you honestly say it was the number two org with any relevant standing.

And it got stopped in it's tracks on Saturday. How do you see Bellator fairing any better?
But I never said it will happen overnight did I Stoo.

strikeforce was once smaller than affliction and elite xc then it grew with their passing.

Some other org will pick up a few fighters, Overeem for instance if he still wants to compete in kickboxing cant stay with zuffa when his contract runs out so where will he go?

Where will barnett go?

where will fedor go?

ect ect.

not nessesarily to bellator, but some org will pick them up, or multiple orgs will.

by the way we are talking years, before a company has the fighters to compete with the ufc again.

It is a bad time for MMA fans but cheer up something good may come of it. Have hope and patience and you might see a org get a much needed boost in the right direction.

By the way my original question was if bellator (or another org) does eventually get to the level that strikforce was will it simply cash in and sell itself to Zuffa?
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Old 03-14-2011, 11:18 AM   #19
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I see your point Yaca. But SF was once well under the radar of PRIDE and the UFC for years and years. They have if we are totally honest built from the scraps of the PRIDE collapse and UFC's bad dealings with fighters.
My point was that Bellator cant afford to pick up all these fighters which is what they will have to do to make a credable division for the likes of Barnett and Reem to keep fighting in. Even SF lacked strength in depth in almost all the divisions. Im not saying it's imposable, but it's improbable to build under the glare of the new UFC/SF monolinth
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Old 03-14-2011, 11:25 AM   #20
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Default Re: Couture on the deal

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To answer your question first Scru, Coker basically has a status in Strikeforce akin to White - he owns a bit of it but behind him there are silent partners that control the vast majority of the company. They got sick of the hassle that came with trying to run a national promotion and wanted out. Once Zuffa found out Strikeforce was for sale they were always going to make the best offer. Unless of course Showtime was willing to make a bid themselves (which they almost did with EliteXC) but that doesn't seem to have been an option.

Whether a new number two organisation is created really depends on the opportunities that are created by television companies, specifically Showtime. People have to remember that in 2009 it looked like the UFC had secured its monoply with the collapse of EliteXC and Affliction only for Strikeforce to pick up some of the best assets of those organisations and successfully go national. If Showtime falls out with Zuffa then its possible that the same thing happens, especially given how many fighters are on bad terms with the UFC and wouldn't want to return.

What makes this deal more damaging to the potential for competition is that Strikeforce was an organisation with momentum, not one that was as good as dead a la Affliction or Pride. They had posted excellent numbers for Diaz vs. Cyborg and Fedor vs. Silva. They also have a full roster of talent that hasn't been depleted or rundown.

One of the interesting things will be to what extent Zuffa forces Strikeforce fighters to sign exclusive contracts - most Strikeforce fighters are allowed to take fights elsewhere but its hard to see Zuffa be willing to permit that in the long term. And getting all the fighters on standard Zuffa contracts will be an essential precondition of merging the two organisations. That does leave open the rather disturbing propsect of a roster in Strikeforce that is divided between those that are exclusively fighting for Zuffa and those that aren't - which would surely lead to the temptation of exclusive fighters being advanced at the expense of non-exclusive fighters. Of course with Sengoku, Dream and K-1 all seemingly on the brink of death one has to wonder how many will reject an exclusive contract if its offered to them.

As for fighters future leverage, I think competition is a very unreliable way to secure fighters leverage. It tends to favour marketable stars over successful fighters, as one can see by Tito Ortiz being resigned in 2009 to stop him going to Strikeforce. Plus competiting promotions makes it too easy for fighters to cherry pick opposition. A union is the key thing. What it needs however is fighters to work together to form one and secure collective bargaining rights. I doubt that will ever happen, not because of the UFC's opposition (not that I doubt that they oppose it) because I can't see the big name fighters throwing their weight behind the deal as necessary.

good post sir

Time will tell. But I can gurentee the fighters signed to strikfrorce that dont come to the ufc will suffer for it financially and career wise.

It seems zuffas plan is to watch a company implode or puchase it, if they buy it they absorb all the marketable fighters they can discard the rest.

By the way as zuffa had copyrights to Prides footage so too will they have copyrights to Strikforce video footage. something that is a little frustrating, when you consider how desperatly zuffa guards fight films that are under their copyright.
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Old 03-14-2011, 11:30 AM   #21
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Default Re: Couture on the deal

His plan is to cut fighters like this;

UFC main card > UFC Fight Night / Verses > Strikeforce > Strikeforce Challengers > GUTTER!!!

That way he takes money off them all the way down. They might even put this in the original contracts from now on...

Ronnie Mann is signed to Bellator but i bet we see him in the UFC or SF very soon!!!

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Old 03-14-2011, 11:30 AM   #22
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Default Re: Couture on the deal

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I see your point Yaca. But SF was once well under the radar of PRIDE and the UFC for years and years. They have if we are totally honest built from the scraps of the PRIDE collapse and UFC's bad dealings with fighters.
My point was that Bellator cant afford to pick up all these fighters which is what they will have to do to make a credable division for the likes of Barnett and Reem to keep fighting in. Even SF lacked strength in depth in almost all the divisions. Im not saying it's imposable, but it's improbable to build under the glare of the new UFC/SF monolinth

Completely agree, its not likely for a org to furish having to puchase its fighters at one time it needs steady growth. Without that it will simply collapse on itself as affliction did.

strikeforce was around for awhile before they were able to explode on to network tv and showtime.
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Old 03-14-2011, 11:38 AM   #23
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Good post. Im aware of Coker's status as a figure head of the organisation. What doesn't seem to be apparent is the motivation behind the sale of SF as it looks like they were in talks for at least 6 months to a year.
I know Pro Elite were in the bidding but nothing materialised and in swept the UFC when Coker said the UFC was not an option. It makes no sense. May be more information in the coming weeks months will shed more light on the situation but im not banking on it.

As for a collective bargaining agreement there wont be one. The UFC is not league and doesn't operate as one.
I think we probably know enough to make an informed guess. It looks like Strikeforce basically got too big to continue to be a small organisation. It was at that awkward crossroads where it needed significant investment to continue to grow - Showtime was demanding better fighters and more events. That meant paying more for talent and running towns outside of its home area.

Now from this point two things may be true. Either Silicon Valley Sports and Entertainment baulked at making that investment or having made that investment they weren't getting the expected returns on it. Doesn't really matter as the result is the same - they folded and decided to go for the highest offer.

But again the real mystery is why Showtime didn't make a successful offer for it. They were willing to spend big money for EliteXC but that obviously wasn't the case if UFC could purchase Strikeforce for $40million.
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Old 03-14-2011, 11:43 AM   #24
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I think we probably know enough to make an informed guess. It looks like Strikeforce basically got too big to continue to be a small organisation. It was at that awkward crossroads where it needed significant investment to continue to grow - Showtime was demanding better fighters and more events. That meant paying more for talent and running towns outside of its home area.

Now from this point two things may be true. Either Silicon Valley Sports and Entertainment baulked at making that investment or having made that investment they weren't getting the expected returns on it. Doesn't really matter as the result is the same - they folded and decided to go for the highest offer.

But again the real mystery is why Showtime didn't make a successful offer for it. They were willing to spend big money for EliteXC but that obviously wasn't the case if UFC could purchase Strikeforce for $40million.
The UFC and Showtime have had very public spats. Its well known that Showtime have zero interest in Dana White or the UFC. Is it possible they got wind of the deal and hence the reason why they made no offer? Sounds plausible to me. If so expect Showtime to pull the plug on SF any time soon.
If that happens SF will fold completely and fighters will be migrated right away.
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Old 03-14-2011, 11:45 AM   #25
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The UFC and Showtime have had very public spats. Its well known that Showtime have zero interest in Dana White or the UFC. Is it possible they got wind of the deal and hence the reason why they made no offer? Sounds plausible to me. If so expect Showtime to pull the plug on SF any time soon.
If that happens SF will fold completely and fighters will be migrated right away.
Dana virtually said this himself in his explanation of Cokers role
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Old 03-14-2011, 11:53 AM   #26
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Showtime want MMA. They've massively increased subscribers over the past year and push MMA as a high profile attraction. They've even started doing joint recap shows featuring MMA/Boxing. But it seems that they're unhappy with the deal otherwise they would have been involved in the announcement.

So if they found out the deal and didn't want to work with Dana White you'd think they'd try to make the deal to buy it themselves to protect their investment. Even if they build up someone like Bellator its unlikely they'll be at Strikeforce's level any time soon.

More and more this seems reminds me of what became known as Black Saturday in pro-wrestling; Vince McMahon's purchase of Georgia Championship Wrestling to get onto Turner. That all ended badly and there's a good chance this will as well. Strikeforce will be much harder for the UFC to swallow whole than even Pride, and that ended up as a disaster.
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Old 03-14-2011, 11:55 AM   #27
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One other thing to consdier is that SVSE owns the HP Pavilion. Being excluded from the record gates that the UFC generates must have been extremely galling. Who knows what calibre of event the UFC has promised to bring to the arena.
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Old 03-14-2011, 12:00 PM   #28
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Do you think MMA on Showtime is a lost cause Will? Because if they really wanted it they would as you said have bought SF. It already had brand recognition/loyalty
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Old 03-14-2011, 12:00 PM   #29
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Default Re: Couture on the deal

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Originally Posted by Will Cooling View Post
Showtime want MMA. They've massively increased subscribers over the past year and push MMA as a high profile attraction. They've even started doing joint recap shows featuring MMA/Boxing. But it seems that they're unhappy with the deal otherwise they would have been involved in the announcement.

So if they found out the deal and didn't want to work with Dana White you'd think they'd try to make the deal to buy it themselves to protect their investment. Even if they build up someone like Bellator its unlikely they'll be at Strikeforce's level any time soon.

More and more this seems reminds me of what became known as Black Saturday in pro-wrestling; Vince McMahon's purchase of Georgia Championship Wrestling to get onto Turner. That all ended badly and there's a good chance this will as well. Strikeforce will be much harder for the UFC to swallow whole than even Pride, and that ended up as a disaster.
One minute is this someone masquerading as Will Cooling?
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Old 03-14-2011, 12:15 PM   #30
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Do you think MMA on Showtime is a lost cause Will? Because if they really wanted it they would as you said have bought SF. It already had brand recognition/loyalty
I don't know. Its been a huge success for them and they've not been slow to acknowledge that. Given Coker being so unhappy with the deal you have to think they got early warning of what was going down.

But one thing you have to remember is that Showtime doesn't want Strikeforce to build name value. They want ShowMMA to be the brand. That's why they employ the commentators and do the production themselves. This will be most clear when M-1 Global has its show towards the end of March - it will be superfically extremely similar to a Strikeforce presentation. Maybe they believe that having successfully and seemlessly transitioned from EliteXC to Strikeforce they can pull the same trick off again? Or perhaps they see this as an opportunity to road test a deal with the UFC in prelude to a full deal for 2013?
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