Ariel Helwani just posted this exclusive interview with Dana White announcing the purchase of Strikeforce by UFC parent company Zuffa at MMAFighting.com. Strikeforce will be run by Scott Coker as a separate organization with White saying that their operations will be "business as usual." Key points from the interview:
- Fighters may be able to move easily from UFC to Strikeforce if needed, but there will be no co-promotions/superfights.
- He made sure to give props to Scott Coker and pointed out he's never had a bad word to say about him and has known him for years, going back to when he promoted the K-1 USA shows.
- He wasn't clear in talking about if UFC will take Strikeforce production in-house or if Showtime will continue to produce the shows.
- As far as those who Strikeforce works with that White has issues with, like M-1 Global, Coker will still be running Strikeforce so he says it won't be an issue.
- Strikeforce's deal with Showtime is good for about 2 more years and he's not sure what will happen when it expires.
- As far as women in MMA, White's only issue is with what he feels is a lack of depth to create a division in UFC but Coker et al at Strikeforce are free to do whatever they want.
- White has only seen a few Strikeforce shows.
- He stressed that Zuffa has the largest MMA library in the world.
- He doubts he'll buy Bellator.
The key seems to be "business as usual" which he said over and over. Strikeforce will still be run by Scott Coker separately with both UFC and Strikeforce competing for rising stars and trying to sign fighters who left the other company when their contract expires. Whatever deals are in place with Strikeforce are still good and shouldn't be impeded. In terms of being hands off (not the actual ownership), White compared it to CBS spinning Viacom off as a separate company.
More later as it comes in...