In December 2006, Zuffa, the parent company of the UFC, purchased a small MMA promotion known as World Extreme Cagefighting or the WEC. The goal was to run two promotions simultaneously and host more events without overextending the UFC.
To accomplish this goal, several changes were made.
First, the WEC was remolded to more closely resemble the UFC with identical rules and similar appearance. Then, the best fighters from the promotion were transferred to the UFC and new champions were crowned in their place. Finally, the heavyweight class was abolished and other weight classes followed until only featherweights and bantamweights were left.
Sounds awfully familiar doesn't it?
Dana White has said time and time again that Strikeforce will remain business as usual, but has proven exactly the opposite. Their first move was to make Strikeforce follow the Unified Rules of MMA, namely allowing elbows on the mat.
Soon, Nick Diaz left Strikeforce leading to an exodus of champions including Dan Henderson, Alistair Overeem and the ever-rumored Gilbert Melendez.
Now Strikeforce is dissolving the heavyweight division. Fabricio Werdum is coming back to the UFC and it's only a matter of time until we see more heavyweights making the jump.
With the new deal on Showtime, it looks like the Dana White is keen on keeping Strikeforce around for at least a little longer. If the WEC was any indication, Strikeforce will be continually dismantled for the best talent until only a small group of fighters that are not represented in the UFC remain.
For the WEC that was featherweights and bantamweights. For Strikeforce, it's women.
Is Dana White trying to bring women into the UFC the same way he did featherweights and bantamweights?