10 Reasons We Have Completely Lost Interest in Strikeforce
Since Strikeforce was acquired by Zuffa, a subsidiary of the UFC, we have borne witness to many staggering changes that the promotion has undergone.
Several of its champions and prominent fighters have recently exited the organization and are now fighting under the UFC banner.
With a Showtime deal recently wrapped, Strikeforce will remain a viable promotion for the foreseeable future, though the luster that once surrounded the promotion has since dissipated.
Dan Henderson Exit
The former Strikeforce 205-pound champion exited the promotion following a three-fight win streak, which saw the legendary fighter knock out Renato Sobral, Rafael Feijao and Fedor Emelianenko in succession.
Now a top contender in the UFC, Henderson made the right move—though the promotion is suffering for it now since the title has been vacated.
Cung Le Exit
A homegrown product of the San Jose-based promotion, Le has become one of the more popular fighters under the Strikeforce banner. The Sanshou specialist earned the middleweight crown after a fan-friendly battle with Frank Shamrock that rocked the HP Pavilion.
Le has since entered the UFC, where he turned in a Fight of the Night performance against the legendary Wanderlei Silva.
Nick Diaz Exit
One of the most enigmatic figures in the sport, Nick Diaz earned high praise in the mixed martial arts world via his run through Strikeforce. The Stockton fighter earned the welterweight crown with an emphatic knockout victory over Marius Zaromskis in January of 2010.
Since then, Diaz defended the title on three occasions in aesthetically pleasing battles against KJ Noons, Evangelista Santos and Paul Daley.
He has since become a top contender in the UFC, earning a clear-cut decision win over former two-time world champion BJ Penn last October.
Alistair Overeem Exit
Though he only had a brief four-fight stint in the promotion, Alistair Overeem was a sought-after fighter that Strikeforce was lucky to have on their roster.
The former champion earned the belt with a second-round submission win over former UFC contender Paul Buentello, and defended the crown against the heavy-hitting Brett Rogers before entering the organization's Grand Prix. There, he defeated rival Fabricio Werdum in the opening round.
A subsequent injury and financial dispute with the organization saw Overeem exit the promotion on shaky ground. He then signed an exclusive contract with the UFC.
Marloes Coenen Exit
While under the Strikeforce banner, Coenen earned the women's 135-pound title by first defeating then-champion Sarah Kauffman via submission.
Coenen followed up the performance with an impressive come-from-behind victory over Liz Carmouche, however later dropped the belt when Meisha Tate upset the Dutchwoman with a arm-triangle choke last July.
Following the loss, Coenen was released from the promotion after her management team in Golden Glory had a spat with Zuffa due to financial disputes, which have since been resolved.
Coenen has since signed with BlackEye Promotions, where she will debut for the organization in February.
Fedor Emelianenko's Decline and Exit
Widely considered the best heavyweight fighter in the world at the time, Fedor Emelianenko made his Strikeforce debut in November of 2009, scoring an impressive second-round knockout over the heavy-hitting Brett Rogers.
Afterward, the Russian suffered a career-worst three fight skid, which saw Emelianenko finished in subsequent battles against Fabricio Werdum, Antonio Silva and Dan Henderson, which eventually signaled his release from the promotion.
Strikeforce Grand Prix Final
The prestigious tournament kicked off in February of last year. A field of 16 men would eventually become two, where the final man standing would earn the GP title.
However, after Emelianenko suffered a TKO loss to Antonio Silva and Alistair Overeem was removed from the tournament due to injury, the hype surrounding the event has since subsided. Now, Josh Barnett will meet alternate Daniel Cormier in the finals.
Dissolving the Heavyweight Division
At one point, the Strikeforce organization's heavyweight roster rivaled any other in the world, with stars like Fabricio Werdum, Antonio Silva, Josh Barnett, Alistair Overeem and Fedor Emelianenko leading the pack.
Since then, three of the aforementioned four have exited the promotion. Barnett remains only to challenge Cormier for the GP title, the winner of which will compete once more in Strikeforce before exiting to join the UFC ranks.
Shortly thereafter, the heavyweight class will be dissolved.
Cyborg Tests Positive for Steroids
Recently, the women's 145-pound champion, Cristiane "Cyborg" Santos, made an emphatic return to Strikeforce after an extended layoff. The Brazilian knocked out the world-renowned Hiroko Yamanaka in just 16 seconds.
Following the bout, Santos was suspended for one year by the California State Athletic Commission and fined a percentage of her purse. Since then, UFC President Dana White has stated that Santos' recent folly likely means the end of the women's division.
Gina Carano Fails to Return
Once regarded as the face of women's MMA, Gina Carano has failed to return to the fighting world following a TKO loss to "Cyborg" in August of 2009.
Carano has since kept herself busy with a budding acting career. However, she has since made several attempts to re-enter the Strikeforce promotion, though an undisclosed illness kept her sidelined from a June 2011 return against Sarah D'Alelio.
Rumors surfaced that Carano would return on the December 17th Strikeforce event, though that failed to come to fruition as well.