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Dana White Hints At Continuing Strikeforce-Showtime Partnership In 2012

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NEW YORK NY:  Dana White UFC President speaks during a press conference to announce commitment to bring UFC to Madison Square Garden and New York State at Madison Square Garden in New York City.  (Photo by Michael Cohen/Getty Images)
NEW YORK NY: Dana White UFC President speaks during a press conference to announce commitment to bring UFC to Madison Square Garden and New York State at Madison Square Garden in New York City. (Photo by Michael Cohen/Getty Images)
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As recently as two months ago, Strikeforce had been left for dead by the mixed martial arts community. With it's champions continually fleeing for the promises of the UFC, and the non-existent marketing push for Strikeforce: Barnett vs. Kharitonov resulting in record-low ratings, there was little reason to believe the promotion would be kept in the Zuffa fold.

The October departure of Ken Hershman -- the man who spearheaded Showtime's acquisition of the Strikeforce broadcasting rights -- to HBO Sports only seemed to confirm the community's sinking suspicions.

However, in the afterglow of Saturday's The Ultimate Fighter 14 Finale, UFC President Dana White was surprisingly optimistic that Strikeforce would continue to operate past the expiration of its current deal.

"I can't talk about it yet. It's not done, but yes," White said to Heavy MMA. "I have a very good feeling that ... things are going to go well with Showtime."

Strikeforce's broadcast deal ends in March 2012. Luke Rockhold defends his middleweight title against Keith Jardine on January 7th in the promotion's only announced match-up of 2012.