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By: Jamie Penick, MMATorch Editor-in-Chief
UFC President Dana White was getting excited about Strikeforce heading into 2012, promising fans that he would try to take control of things to make it a great product on Showtime. However, it now appears Showtime isn't ceding any control to White, so he's washing his hands of the situation.
In an interview with MMAJunkie.com following Saturday's Strikeforce "Tate vs. Rousey" event in Columbus, Ohio, White revealed that Showtime decided not to go with any of the changes he attempted to get made.
"I'll never make that mistake again," White said. "UFC is what I am and where I should have been... I almost missed the first UFC fight in 11 years, and then I get the phone call from Pete Dropick when I'm in Japan. 'Yeah, listen, they're not going to change pretty much any of the stuff you wanted.' So I said, 'F*** them.'
"You flew out to Las Vegas and wasted my time. Go talk your boxing s*** to somebody else."
Zuffa-owned Strikeforce still has six events remaining for 2012, and while White says they plan on providing great fights throughout the year, the future of Strikeforce will once again be in doubt once the year is up.
"These guys are letting a D-level producer run their organization, and that's exactly what I told Espinoza," White said. "You want to let a D-level producer run your organization? Go for it brother. Knock yourself out. I've got [expletive] to do. I've got another job."
"The positive thing is we own Strikeforce. Strikeforce is never going to suck. We own it. The fights are going to be great. There's going to be a better in-house show and all that stuff. I'm going to do what I'm contractually obligated to do. I'm contractually obligated to Showtime to do certain things, and I'm going to do them."
Penick's Analysis: Well, two events in, and it doesn't appear the new working relationship between Zuffa and Showtime has gone to plan. What I'm wondering is how this affects what White has talked about in regards to fighters. He's said he's going to make sure that the fighters contractually stuck in Strikeforce will be happy there, but if he's no longer having any input in the proceedings will that go out the window? Further, from that last line I wouldn't be surprised to see Strikeforce be scrapped at the end of the year and the UFC bring the fighters they want into the fold, as many expected to happen early this year. Time will tell, but this development certainly doesn't bode well for Strikeforce's future.
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Jamie Penick, editor-in-chief
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