Strikeforce: Tim Kennedy Thinks Nobody Cares, and He's Right
Hey there. Did you know that there's a Strikeforce card coming up from Portland this weekend? Tomorrow night?
Yep, it's true. I don't blame you for not remembering. Hell, with all of the furor over UFC 148 last week and then an awesome free Fuel fight card just two days ago, I have trouble remembering about the card myself.
Which is a little bit crazy when you consider that two Strikeforce title fights are on the card.
I couldn't care less about the fight between Nate Marquardt and Tyron Woodley for the vacant welterweight title. I'm sure most of you feel the same way. Woodley has been Mr. Anti-Excitement during his Strikeforce run, and Marquardt has been out of the picture since that whole Testosterone Replacement Therapy thing got him booted from the UFC last year.
(As a side note: Marquardt is no longer on TRT. I thought these guys needed that stuff to live? Hopefully Marquardt isn't putting his life in danger by no longer taking testosterone, because that would be sad.)
I like the middleweight title fight between Luke Rockhold and Tim Kennedy, though. It's a good fight between two very good middleweights. It's just a shame that nobody will see it, mostly because Rockhold and Kennedy are not Ronda Rousey. The female bantamweight champ, after all, is just about the only thing that drives interest in Strikeforce these days.
Tim Kennedy sure noticed the lack of interest.
"Take a picture," Tim Kennedy said. "There's not a single goddamn reporter here. There's four of you guys. This is two title fights for Strikeforce. It's crystal clear that nobody gives a s---. They don't. I knock Rockhold out on Saturday night? Changes nothing for me. Nothing in, like, what media publications are going to cover me, who talks about me, sponsors I'm going to get. Do you know how much money I didn't make in sponsors for this fight because nobody cares about Strikeforce? It's insane.
"I'm fighting one of the best fighters on the planet. Not top 10 – like top five. I'm very confident that both Luke and I would clean house all the way to the top one or two guys in the UFC that could finally give us a fight, and nobody cares. It doesn't make any sense. Just the ignorance of the sport and the athletes, there's no way we can change that unless you let us fight other guys outside of the organization, and that's just not going to happen."
Kennedy hit the nail on the head here. Not the part about cleaning house all the way up to the top one or two guys in the division, because that part isn't true. Maybe for Rockhold, but not for him.
But he's right about Strikeforce. Nobody cares.
It's a brand and a company dying on the vine. Zuffa pays it the minimal amount of attention possible so that people can't say they've stopped caring altogether. It's like that guy in your group of friends who nobody really wants to keep around, but you'd feel bad for giving him the boot because he clearly has nothing else going right for him. That's Strikeforce.
In a perfect world, Showtime would pull the plug on this company tomorrow, and we'd get to see Gilbert Melendez, Rockhold, Rousey and Kennedy jump over to the UFC and fight the best guys in the world. But that's not happening, at least not any time soon. These two companies, Zuffa and Showtime, are stuck in a loveless marriage, and Strikeforce is suffering for it.
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