Saturday night, the long and somewhat-illustrious tenure of Strikeforce finally comes to a grinding halt.
It was never supposed to end like this. In a perfect world, Strikeforce would continue providing the UFC with competition for years to come. It would give fighters an alternative to signing with the biggest promotion in the world, and it would continue providing fans with some of the most entertaining fight cards we've ever seen.
But not every tale has a storybook ending, and so Strikeforce goes out in Oklahoma City not with a bang, but a whisper. And really, that whisper started back when Zuffa purchased the company. Dana White said that the promotion would continue to operate the way it had been since its inception, even using the now-infamous phrase "business as usual" to describe his plans for America's second-largest fight promotion.
We all knew that wasn't the case, though. It couldn't be. White tried, and he even tried his hand at signing a contract extension and partnering with Showtime.
Eventually, though, White's forceful personality didn't gel with the Showtime brass. The writing was on the wall when Showtime politely declined a few suggestions from White to improve the Strikeforce broadcasts. And now, we're finally here, with the first Strikeforce event since last August that also doubles as the final event in promotional history.
If you want an in-depth history of Strikeforce, I recommend reading parts 1 and 2 of Jonathan Snowden's excellent Strikeforce oral history. But for now, we'll take a look at five things you need to watch for on Saturday night's card.