Open Doors Between The UFC and Strikefforce, But Where Will They Lead?
05/12/10 —"Think about the matchups we could make if the UFC had an open-door policy. We could have Gilbert Melendez fighting B.J. Penn or Frankie Edgar. We could have Nick Diaz fighting Georges St. Pierre. We could have Jake Shields or Jacare fight Anderson Silva. We could have Gegard Mousasi or King Mo fight Lyoto Machida or Shogun Rua. At heavyweight, you could have Fedor or Alistair fight Brock Lesnar or Shane Carwin. Those are fights I'm sure the fans would like."
(Thanks to MMAFighting for the above quote)
Scott Coker is quoted as saying the above quote in an article on MMA Fighting's website regarding the possibility of an "open door policy". Or in other terms, something along the lines of Strikeforce's current alliance with DREAM—between the UFC and Strikeforce.
Of course, I could see the possibilities in a deal with the two organizations. Basically, the former UFC talents, current Strikeforce mainstays, and if included, the talent from the DREAM roster could fight the elite in the respective five UFC divisions if a "co-promotion" between the two companies ever happened.
I'm not even going to pretend like I wouldn't be one of the many fans that would enjoy that, because I would. At least with this type of deal, those dream matches that everyone has been wishing for could become realities.
As awesome as I think that'd be, I hate to admit that there is a problem with making this happen.
Aside from Strikeforce's champions like Gegard Mousasi and Fedor, who does Strikeforce offer to the UFC in terms of an exciting fight?
I mean, sure, there are some guys from DREAM that I might be under-rating, but I only do that because they have had little to almost no exposure on a Strikeforce event.
As for the guys who hold a title in Strikeforce, sure, the fights would be good, but how good would they really be?
BJ Penn vs Frankie Edgar, I'm going to say was a good fight, but don't post a comment asking me to call it the best lightweight fight of the year.
Important fight of note in 2010? Yes, because that was the night Penn finally lost the belt and the first night since the first fight with Jens Pulver that he lost at lightweight.
Was it the best lightweight fight of 2010? Go that far if you want, but I won't.
Aoki didn't look too impressive against Melendez, so who knows if Penn or Edgar might be more for Aoki than people think.
As for Melendez's chances against the aforementioned two UFC lightweights, he could try to take either down or knock either out, but it'd be a feat in itself to knock BJ out, and it'll be tough to finish Edgar.
Remember, Edgar lost a decision to Maynard. He didn't tap or get knocked out.
I suppose Ronaldo Souza has a pretty good resume. He lost a couple of fights and his only loss of note was against Gegard Mousasi. But really, Anderson Silva?
Jake Shields, I could understand the argument for a fight with Silva, but not really Souza.
King Mo or Mousasi Vs. Shogun or Machida—that would intrigue me, but it'd be tough to get Shogun on the ground by any way other than taking one of his shots to the head, and Machida, despite his Karate base, does have the ability to take people down.
Besides, the Machida that fights Mousasi or Lawal won't be the same Machida that Shogun dethroned, guaranteed.
GSP Vs. Diaz would interest me more than would GSP Vs. Shields, not because I have anything against Shields, but because I think Nick Diaz's chances on the ground with GSP could be better than Shields' chances.
Overeem Vs. any member of the UFC Heavyweight roster, I wouldn't be too sure about unless Overeem were to face Stefan Struve, or maybe Chieck Kongo.
Fedor Vs. any member of that division, including Lesnar, Carwin, Cain Velasquez, or Junior Dos Santos would be tough for me to call if anyone from the UFC ever got lined up for Fedor, because even though Fedor would more than likely dominate, some of those guys are unpredictable as well.
Still, the fights Coker mentioned in his interview, while they may be good, they'd really be the only fights that the majority of fans might find interesting, when you consider how small the combined roster of DREAM and Strikeforce is. There's not much they could present to the UFC in terms of competition, other than Overeem and Fedor.
Look at this situation from the UFC's point of view, and it'll be the same way. Other than the champions and former champions of Strikeforce. Along with Fedor, there may not be much for Strikeforce to offer the UFC in all five weight classes if an alliance between the two happened at this particular point in time.
An open door policy between Strikeforce and the UFC sounds like the key to bringing MMA's dream fights to life, once and for all, but would the real thing live up to our expectations?
I'd love to believe it would, but I don't think those dreams are ready to come true yet.