Monday, October 08, 2012

Sara McMann out of Nov. 3 Strikeforce show

This afternoon MMA Weekly reported that Sara McMann is out of the Nov. 3 Strikeforce show due to injury. This is the third match on the main card that has been affected by injury. First, Frank Mir dropped out of his match with Daniel Cormier. And last night, Luke Rockhold dropped out of his fight with Lorenz Larkin. And with last week's Strikeforce show cancelled, we're starting to wonder about this one. Soon after the Sara McMann injury was reported, Brian McMahon (@FrontRowBrian) tweeted that Zuffa has pulled the plug on Strikeforce. Normally, I wouldn't talk about something like this until it is confirmed. But McMahon has broken several stories this year. He's not a writer. He just tweets. He is credible. Since then, Josh Gross of ESPN tweeted that no decision about Strikeforce has been made and they still plan to run the Nov. 3 show. Remember Zuffa can't just pull the plug on Strikeforce. It's all up to Showtime Sports president Stephen Espinoza. No doubt it would cost Zuffa to get out of the deal with Showtime. So though I think it's possible that Zuffa wants out of the deal, Showtime might have a different attitude. No decision has been made but negotiations could be ongoing. So Strikeforce could close. Zuffa's treatment of Strikeforce shows how shortsighted Zuffa is. I may have been one of the few who didn't think Zuffa would close Strikeforce because I didn't think Lorenzo Fertitta spent $40M for nothing. But they stupidly raided Strikeforce for the UFC and now they're stuck because of the new deal with Showtime. What would happen to women's MMA if Strikeforce closed? Things are different now because of Ronda Rousey. Zuffa won't just discard women's MMA as they would have last year. The ideal scenario would be for Zuffa to buy Invicta and ask Fox to let them air it on Fuel TV...for now. I'm sure Fox would be OK with that. It was reported earlier this year by John Ourand of Sports Business Journal that Fox plans to turn SPEED into Fox Sports 1 in an effort to compete with ESPN. Fuel would be closed. SPEED has a larger subscriber base. It's similar to what NBC did this year with Versus. Fox would certainly need plenty of content if they do this. This change could happen as early as 2014. So stay tuned and we'll all see what happens.

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