Just like the MLB has it’s minor league system I believe the UFC would benefit from making Strikeforce it’s minor league system. Here are my quick thoughts on why I think it could work.
Minor League Deals:
Fighters could sign Minor League deals with incentives for if/when they got called up to the UFC. Bring in more prospects and keep around guys that fans love. Instead of cutting a fighter after a couple loses they could be sent down to Strikeforce. What fighter wouldn’t feel better about at least getting the chance to stick around and work his way back. Having Strikeforce means more roster spots. Guys don’t have to worry as much about losing their jobs.
Why Showtime should agree to this:
I don’t know about you but I’ll watch pretty much any MMA. I spent a nice summer day sitting inside on my computer watching BAMMA, Bellator prelims on spike.com and then Strikeforce. I catch any promotion I can that gets streamed online (Shark Fights, BAMMA) I believe people will still tune into Showtime and watch despite Strikeforce being the UFC’s minor league. When you think about it every promotion other then UFC is a minor league anyway. Showtime could continue to focus on the “Rising Stars”(Challengers) and also capitalize on the “UFC” names.
Why it makes sense for Zuffa:
Unless Zuffa continues to want to buy their competitors I think it makes sense for them to keep Strikeforce around. How hard is it to compete with the number one promotion when they also own the number two promotion. What guys are these competitors going to get if Zuffa continues to have this huge talent pool. Let’s face it, If you consider yourself one of the best fighters in the world and you’re not even in the number two promotion how can you be taken serious. The UFC will become what the NBA, NFL, NHL and MLB is. The only Professional League. A minor league would give them the opportunity to keep all the smaller promotions small promotions.
I’d get rid of all the belts except for the women’s division. Instead of getting a belt I’d do “Light Weight” of the year or something down that line. What’s the point in having a belt that gets vacated all the time.
They could develop the women’s divisions. More and more girls will get into MMA if they know Women’s MMA has a place in Strikeforce’s future. The only way you’ll get deeper divisions is if these young girls see there is an opportunity to make it. Without Strikeforce, Women’s progression in MMA faces a harder road.
And lastly,If the Showtime deal doesn’t happen i’d hope they would consider looking elsewhere or even streaming cards online. More free fights please!
Hope you enjoyed this. I don’t consider myself a journalist or even a blogger. I just enjoy MMA and love to talk about it. Check out my predictions during fight week’s and I’ll post some MMA related posts when I get the itch. Thanks.