As I am sure everyone is aware, M-1... I mean Fedor...and Strikeforce have come to a three-fight deal.
This is being lauded as a big coup for Strikeforce, but is it really? There are some major benefits, but with those benefits comes a huge element of risk.
Based on everything we have seen and heard, you know the deal with M-1 didn’t come cheap. Co-promotion is a big deal. Strikeforce will for all intents and purposes give up a portion of their name.
This leaves me with a number of questions.
Did Strikeforce overpay to take Fedor off the market? Will Strikeforce get enough in return? How much is Fedor worth? Is M-1 taking the people at Strikeforce for all they are worth?
The signing of Fedor immediately makes Strikeforce a bigger player in MMA. But a strong start doesn’t always lead to a strong finish. In the long run, I’m not sure how things will end up.
Aside from Fedor, what else could Strikeforce gain from co-promotion? While Co-Promoting with M-1 made little sense for the UFC, it can make some sense for Strikeforce. They are starting with less, so they are giving up less in a 50 percent stake. The added attention may be worth the cost.
In the short term, you know this:
· Strikeforce has signed Fedor to a three-fight deal.
· Strikeforce will gain notoriety.
· M-1 will be taking a large cut of Strikeforce profits any time Fedor is on the card.
· M-1 will look to gain notoriety
We don’t know what else M-1 will bring to the table... M-1 has no name in North America and their promotional contributions may be limited. We know M-1 will use Strikeforce as a vehicle to promote their name.
Then what? What happens after three fights and Fedor once again becomes a free agent?
M-1 is developing a new event series that starts with "Breakthrough" at the end of this August. Is this Fedor’s eventual home? Does he re-sign with Strikeforce, or does he take his new found "American" fame right back to M-1?
I think M-1 is the most likely candidate, we all know that is where the allegiances lie. After four more fights, Fedor may no longer be under a "promotional deal" with the organization, but he will still be a part owner. Ultimately, building the M-1 organization will be more profitable for him than anything he could do elsewhere.
This deal looks like a huge boost for Strikeforce, and it may be, but ultimately this deal is all about what M-1 gives back. M-1 will either make a whole hearted effort to make Strikeforce as big as they can or they will come aboard, take a ride and ultimately take the wind out of Strikeforce’s sails before jumping ship.
Will M-1 help make Strikeforce bigger and stronger or are they the leech that sucks Strikeforce dry?