Good ole' JR has been an open fan of MMA for quite some time now, and not only did he catch just about every UFC event, he was also keeping an eye on Strikeforce. With the news of Strikeforce being purchased by Zuffa, Jim Ross took a lengthy look at the situation at his blog:
UFC buying out Strikeforce has sent shock waves throughout the MMA world. This is as big a deal as could have been orchestrated within the Mixed Martial Arts world in today's marketplace.
UFC President Dana White says that it will be 'business as usual' for Strikeforce. I have no reason not to believe White but I do find it hard to fathom that 'business as usual' will last long term. It doesn't seem to be 'long term feasible.'
What is your definition of 'long term' in this particular situation? Perhaps it can be defined as long as Strikeforce is under contract with CBS/Showtime to provide programming.
As Ross continues on, he touches on a point that I personally have harped on, and that's the possibility of the UFC manufacturing their own competition.
Perhaps UFC decision makers can do what others in similar roles in other genres have been unable to do and that is manage their own competition as they indicate that they want to do.
If UFC can pull managing their own competition off, they will be able to cut better Arena, TV, Marketing, Licensing, and Talent Contract deals. They will be able to run more live events and TV events which would help drive their PPV business along with every other facet of business of which they engage.
After the jump, Jim Ross dishes out even more thoughts on the UFC's buyout of Strikeforce. Why am I all of a sudden craving BBQ?
Now with a bigger talent roster under contract and from which to draw from, Zuffa, the parent company of both UFC and Strikeforce, should be able to produce compelling, weekly television programming and can build BOTH brands if the programs are carefully produced. The challenge of producing compelling, weekly TV is solely dependent upon long term planning and building one's programming around what is topical and timely.
One has to assume that with this buy out will come significant infrastructure changes within parent company Zuffa. Those changes are inevitable to properly manage and grow both brands within the perceived, new sport of MMA especially when Zuffa has made it abundantly clear that they plan on promoting the world.
Having gone through two of these buyouts within the genre of pro wrestling in my 4 decade career my advice to all involved is to forget personal animosities and any existing agendas that aren't about helping the parent company become more profitable. In other words, keep the goose (Zuffa) healthy that lays the golden eggs.
It would be shocking if Zuffa wasn't already planning, much like WWE is, to launch their own cable channel with all the content that Zuffa now has at their disposal from UFC, Pride, and Strikeforce. Just think NFL or MLB Network and that picture becomes very clear.
Content is king in the broadcast world and being able to program ones own network has dollar signs written all over for years and years to come. Broadcasting ownership groups are looking for new programming content daily and if one doesn't believe me just look at some of the programming that many of us pay for these days that makes air.
Anyone for an episode 'The Real Housewives of Atlanta?'
Even with the purchase of Strikeforce, UFC's focus must remain on developing sound, global television partnerships and, perhaps most importantly from my perspective, scouting, signing, training and developing new stars.
MMA is a competition based, attraction business. Without stars IE attractions, the Zuffa motor doesn't run smoothly and if a lack of marketable stars persists the motor will sputter to a stop. Same can be said for virtually any similar profession or sports league.
Stars sell tickets, PPV's, etc and developing new stars is the heart beat of any company, league, etc that features athletic, competitive personalities as the focus.
One can easily understand the unrest that must exist within the Strikeforce community of fighters, management, etc. Interesting days lie ahead for fans of MMA and those that earn a living within it.