Why the Strikeforce Heavyweights Will Fail to Compete Seriously in the UFC

Matthew HemphillCorrespondent IIJanuary 4, 2012

Not every heavyweight can be judged by a company.  Individuals will succeed and fail based on their own merit and not anything else.

After all, it seems like Alistair Overeem is doing well in the UFC.  However, the UFC stripped him from Strikeforce before the rest of the other heavyweights followed, so he might be one exception.

I also wrote an article about how Fabricio Werdum would beat Roy Nelson, so perhaps the focus should be on their competition at the highest level.

The a level where in which fighters who reach it are talked about being put in a title shot and possibly being the future of the division.

No matter how fans break it down, most of the Strikeforce heavyweights will get beaten once they appear in the UFC or otherwise self-destruct.

Many of the heavyweights that are in MMA's second biggest promotion are polite and healthy.  The only one who might be destructive is Josh Barnett.

He not only competes in pro wrestling, which the UFC and its president, Dana White, won't condone, but also he has been busted several different times for taking different types of substances banned in MMA.

He was a large part of the reason why Affliction folded so quickly.  They may have been headed down that route anyway, but his removal from their main event didn't help.

It's hard to see a guy like that not butting heads with White and the UFC.

Obviously Randy Couture doesn't count.
Obviously Randy Couture doesn't count.

The other heavyweights are a little different.

Most are names that casual fans won't have heard of.  The only one they probably know is Herschel Walker.

The others are fighters like Chad Griggs, Daniel Cormier and Antonio Silva.  Some of these men have faced former UFC fighters and done well.  Some have just started cutting their teeth and are now being thrown into MMA's shark tank.

And that is the real problem.  It isn't that they aren't good enough.  It's that they aren't prepared.

Strikeforce's business model left them with a few marquee heavyweights but mostly young or inexperienced fighters who were just cutting their teeth.  Some are very good, but they haven't been put in with elite opposition or anything close to it.

They won't know how to react to not only the pressure in the UFC, but the nervousness which goes with being viewed by that many fans.

It is tough and there is no way to really prepare for it.  Especially when the Strikeforce heavyweights realize that there is nowhere else to go back to.  Between a lack of experience and the intensity they will face when they step into the cage, it will trouble them heavily.

When fighters get in the cage, they do so as themselves and should be judged as such.  It doesn't matter what organization they fought for.

It does, however matter what opposition they have faced and how it prepared them, and to be honest, the Strikeforce heavyweights are not ready.

And just like the division, the fighters will be swallowed up by the UFC.