Strikeforce is alive and well, whether its fighters like it or not.
As Strikeforce's new deal with Showtime reaches completion, UFC President Dana White has begun detailing the promotion's plans for 2012 and beyond. Most notably, the mass exodus of Strikeforce champions into the UFC had apparently reached its conclusion, according to reports from MMA Weekly.
"The guys that are in Strikeforce are staying in Strikeforce," White confirmed in the aftermath of UFC 140. "Strikeforce lives."
The news may be particularly displeasing to fighters such as lightweight champion Gilbert Melendez and former light heavyweight champion Muhammed "King Mo" Lawal who have voiced their desire to transfer into the UFC. Melendez, in particular, has campaigned vehemently for the move, recently referring to it as "inevitable" and saying "the sooner, the better."
For months it was commonly believed "El Nino" would depart for the UFC after his December 17th title defense with Jorge Masvidal, however White now may have other plans.
"Gilbert Melendez and all the guys that are in the Strikeforce show and with Showtime, I will make fights [for them]," White declared. "They will be happy to be there. Believe me, I got this thing worked out. It's going to be good for everybody. It's going to be good for the fighters, it's going to be good for Showtime, and it's going to be good for Strikeforce."
While White's sentiment may prompt the question of co-promotion between the two Zuffa-owned entities, he ensured that Strikeforce would remain "completely separate" from the UFC. Additionally, Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker will continue to have a role with the promotion as the new deal is finalized.