This past Saturday major news rocked the mixed martial arts world, with Dana White announcing that Zuffa purchased number one competitor, Strikeforce. As I watched Dana White explain the deal to Ariel Helwani I couldn't help but have flashes of the Pride FC acquisition. Pride was on the decline at the time of purchase, but it didn't change the fact that it was a monumental moment for mixed martial arts. Strikeforce, unlike Pride, is on the rise, bringing in record breaking numbers on Showtime as well as generating a great amount of hype for their world heavyweight grand prix. The question is, has Zuffa learned from their fumble with the purchase of Pride, and make this deal with Strikeforce worthwhile? The Pride takeover hardly went as smooth as Zuffa had hoped, with some of the biggest stars from Pride not ending up in the UFC. Strikeforce has quite a few notable names on their roster and the UFC will be looking to snatch up all the quality talent they can as their Strikeforce contracts expire.
The UFC is trying to breach the plateau they've reached, such as when Forrest Griffin fought Stephan Bonnar in the finale of The Ultimate Fighter, or when Brock Lesnar officially became a UFC fighter. These moments allowed the UFC to reach new heights, but will the acquisition of Strikeforce prove to be one of them? It depends on how many fighters will be happy to head to the larger promotion when their contract is up. It will also be interesting to see how fighters who were shared with Strikeforce by Dream opt to cut ties with the Japanese promotion and make the move as well.
The next two years in mixed martial arts will be interesting, to say the least. I have a feeling that Dana White has been pushing on multiple fronts to expand and build, and this may just be one of many announcements coming that will catch us off guard. Time will tell if this acquisition marked the beginning of the next era in MMA, or just another case of Zuffa killing off their competition.