sale to the
UFC, conventional wisdom suggests Strikeforce will close up
after its various contracts expire.
However, Scott Coker (Pictured) believes Strikeforce’s future is in
his and his team’s hands.
“At the end of the day, [the UFC] gave the
WEC a good opportunity to try to flourish,” the Strikeforce CEO
said Wednesday on the
Sherdog Radio Network’s “Beatdown” show. “I just think it
didn’t pan out the way they wanted. That’s why inevitably it went
the way that it did.”
The WEC ended up merging with the UFC, a move that could also await
Strikeforce in the future.
“I think our brand name is very strong,” Coker argued. “I think
it’s stronger than it’s ever been and I think the Showtime
relationship has been good for everybody and good for mixed martial
arts and has given a lot of fighters some great opportunities. If
we can continue to grow and continue to build this business the way
that we have been … if we’re profitable and the company is doing
very well, then I don’t see why it would not continue.”
Coker said Strikeforce’s contract with Showtime could extend to
2014. He doesn’t expect the promotion’s relationship with the
network to change.
“I’m going to run Strikeforce and I’m going to keep building this
thing as much as I can,” Coker said. “We’re going to work as hard
as we can. … I think it will be ready for pay-per-view by the end
of the year.”
Showtime would control production of a pay-per-view, Coker said,
but the UFC’s resources would also be at his disposal.
“One of the things I’m really excited about, if you look at the
muscle behind the UFC brand, now we have access to that,” he said.
“We have access to their marketing machine and their PR machine and
just all of the nuts and bolts of that company. They’ve been very
helpful. They’ve been very engaging. Everybody’s been extremely
friendly. We’re going to use some of those resources and we’re
going to go out there and blow up Strikeforce.”
If Strikeforce is folded into the UFC, though, women fighters could
be hit the hardest. While Strikeforce has promoted some of the
biggest women’s bouts, UFC President Dana White has expressed
little interest in having them in the Octagon. Coker isn’t looking
that far down the road; for now, women have a home in
“We are not going to mess with anything,” Coker said. “The girl
fights will continue on Strikeforce. We have a big fight with Gina
coming up at some point this year. We expect to have Marloes
Coenen back, have ‘Cyborg’ back. To me, the platform will still
be there. We still believe in the girls fighting and the girls’
ability to compete at the highest level. We’re going to continue
with the girls.”
Listen to the
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