Zuffa boss Dana White has orchestrated the purchase of Strikeforce. | Daniel Herbertson/Sherdog.com
Strikeforce is no longer the UFC’s biggest competitor.
In a video interview with Ariel Helwani posted to MMAFighting.com on Saturday morning, UFC President Dana White announced that Zuffa has purchased the San Jose, Calif.-based fight promotion.
“It's literally official right now. We literally just purchased Strikeforce,” said White. “I don't want to disclose any of the details on how the deal was done, but the reality is that we now own Strikeforce.”
White explained the reasons behind the purchase in the interview, stating that expanding Zuffa's talent pool was a necessary step to take as the promotion ventures into more international endeavors.
“As we go out and [continue to expand], we need more fights. Let's face facts. Strikeforce is a brand that fans have come to like and [the fans] enjoy the fights that they're putting on. So it made sense to us,” said White. “Our job is to put on the big fights that fans want to see, and as we continue to travel [abroad], we have to put on the right fights in these other countries.”
While White would not disclose the exact length of the negotiation period, the UFC boss did confirm that the buyout “happened quickly,” when asked if the talks lasted less than six months.
White then revealed that while Strikeforce is now the property of Zuffa, Scott Coker's promotion would not be dissolved. Rather, Strikeforce will continue to operate independently under the supervision of its new parent company.
“Strikeforce is going to continue to run -- business as usual. There are contracts in place, and we honor contracts. These guys pull good ratings on Showtime, and all of those contracts are going to be honored. These guys are going to remain Strikeforce fighters.”
White then elaborated on that concept, asserting that Coker would continue in his role as Strikeforce head, maintaining the promotion's operations and managing the talent. According to White, this means that Coker will have license to re-sign fighters at his discretion, including talents with whom White takes issue, such as Paul Daley and Josh Barnett.
“We've signed a deal with Scott Coker. He's staying on. You've seen me battle with guys over the years, but I’ve never had a bad thing to say about Scott Coker. I’ve known Scott since the K-1 days. Scott is a good guy.”
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