Dana White. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
After Strikeforce purchased select assets from ProElite earlier this month and in turn, landed some of the sport’s marquee names, many were expecting UFC President Dana White to go off on one of his usual tirades about his competition.
To date, White had never said a bad thing about Strikeforce, but had been extremely critical concerning the efforts of the International Fight League, Affliction, EliteXC, and the PRIDE Fighting Championships in the past. Those waiting for White’s negative comments towards Strikeforce now that they are his promotion’s biggest rival will have to continue waiting:
UFC President Dana White has often scoffed at the attention paid to Slice, but he draws a distinction between Strikeforce’s interest and EliteXC’s handling of the inexperienced heavyweight.
Unlike promoter Affliction, which has put on two pay-per-view events focusing on the heavyweight class, Strikeforce has no quarrel with UFC, the dominant force in MMA.
“I’m sure they’re going to put on some good shows, and hopefully, they can make that business model work for them,” White says. “I’ve got nothing negative to say about them whatsoever.”
The IFL and Affliction, at least to date, didn’t really do anything to hurt the sport at all like EliteXC did, yet White was quick to point out that the way their models were setup was stupid. So far he’s been right. So why isn’t he going after Scott Coker?
I think it’s because White realizes that Coker is just as intelligent as he is about the sport and is slowly building up his brand instead of jumping right into the fray like everyone else did. It’s a combination that won’t be hurtful to the UFC, but could end up in them having their first stable competitor in North America for the first time in a long time.
Next entry: Shields vs. Riggs Set for Strikeforce in April
Previous entry: Sonnen, Maia Ready for Middleweight Clash