If there were any lingering doubts about his intentions towards Strikeforce, UFC president Dana White removed them all in an open declaration of war following last night?s ?UFC on Versus? event, saying that there would be ?a fight until somebody goes away - and believe me when I tell you, its going to be them.?
Interestingly, White?s ire was not directed at Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker, whom he professes respect for, but Strikeforce?s partners at the Showtime television company.
"I really, really, really dislike these guys at Showtime. I really dislike them? well, I shouldn't even say 'the guys' ? there's a guy there, and he's a [expletive]. I don't like him, and you guys know how I am. So, it is what it is, and unfortunately Scott's caught in the middle,? he said at the post-fight press conference.
"This is a fight. They started the fight with me. I didn't start the fight; they did. And you know how I get, and that's really what it's all about?. "We're going to fight until somebody goes away. Believe me when I tell you it's going to be them."
Sticking to tried and tested tactics that hurt EliteXC and Affliction Entertainment, the UFC will likely be counter-programming Strikeforce throughout the year, although White dismissed rumours of an April 17th event to go head-to-head with Strikeforce?s event, which will air on CBS.
"I was never putting an April 17 show on,. The media started calling me and asking me. I just let it ride out and let [Strikeforce] sweat it. F*ck them. You want to compete with us? Let's do it,? he said. ?"I never, ever said I was doing an April 17 show. People asked me questions, and I said, 'Hmm, that's interesting.' I played a little bit.?
White also said he will most likely be putting a bid in for Jake Shields, the Strikeforce middleweight champion, when his contract expires after the April 17th fight with Dan Henderson. Win or lose, Shields will be a free agent after the fight while White has two ways to win: either by stealing one of Strikeforce?s main stars or forcing them to spend extra money to retain him by pushing his price up with a bidding war.