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 Strikeforce.
“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.”
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