Posts Tagged ‘strikeforce’


by @anarchyroll

Those who don’t study history are doomed to repeat it. True in life, movies, and mixed martial arts.

PRIDE also comes before the fall, that is doubly true in mixed martial arts.

Bellator MMA was founded by Bjorn Rebney in 2008. The majority stake in the company was sold to Viacom in 2011 as part of a deal to get the promotion onto MTV2 and later Spike TV. Bellator crafted a niche in the mixed martial arts world by running tournaments. Initially tournaments to crown their champions, then tournaments to crown number one contenders to fight their champions. Title fights, attraction fights, and “super” fights are used to round out the cards.

Bjorn Rebney, Bellator MMA founder

Bellator’s unique format as well as PRIDE and Strikeforce going out of business allowed them to both survive and thrive by upstart, distant number two standards. Compared to the Goliath that is the UFC, Bellator is not a competitor, merely an alternative. In the rest of the mixed martial arts world however, Bellator has been the clear-cut number two company since the second the lights went out for Strikeforce last year.

Bellator has evolved incrementally to show they are growing. Going from ESPN Deportes to MTV2 to Spike TV to air their fights. Bellator had their version of UFC’s reality tv show darling “The Ultimate Fighter” called “Fight Master” that aired last year. It was unique to TUF and much like everything Bellator does, got decent ratings, enough to keep them afloat and viewed as legitimate.

Bellator recently made it’s PPV debut, a show that drew 100,000 buys. With all of this growth and progression, it was surprising to hear that Bjorn Rebney, the founder and CEO of Bellator MMA, and for all intents and purposes the Dana White of Bellator, was forced out of the company he founded by Viacom. Word is that Viacom wants to move away from the tournament format, while Rebney falls under the if it ain’t broke don’t fix it paradigm. Rebney has already been replaced by Scott Coker, who was the founder and Dana White of Strikeforce.

Scott Coker, founder of Strikeforce and new CEO of Bellator MMA

Coker is a good promoter and a good guy. Most people seem to like him. He doesn’t have a reputation for anything remotely shady. He helped build Strikeforce from a regional kickboxing promotion to the number two mixed martial arts promotion in the world. Even as a distant number two, Strikeforce put together some great super fights that rivaled anything the UFC was putting up against them at the time (Fedor vs Hendo anyone?). Viacom and Coker have already said they will scale back the tournament format of Bellator to a more traditional style of MMA booking, much like Strikeforce had.

Strikeforce and Bellator now have two things in common, Scott Coker, and a corporate owner directly involved in their business. Showtime’s incompetence led to Strikeforce going out of business. Dana White even voiced how sorry he felt for the organization over how things went down. Well, to me, this seems to be a case of history repeating itself. There is nothing wrong with tinkering with something to make it better, but this is an over haul of something that already is making money. Maybe not a lot of money, but there has been zero whiff of Bellator being at risk of going out of business. They have been consistently running shows for six years, why is this time to make whole sale changes?

Word has it Rebney was/is very difficult to work with, which is the opposite reputation Coker has. Coker was and is willing to work with anyone as long as it makes money. He has said the tournaments will have their place, which is a good thing. But if Bellator runs shows in the same way the UFC, WSOF, and OneFC all run shows, won’t they be exposing themselves as a cheap alternative to the dominant number one?

That’s what Strikeforce was after all. I loved Strikeforce but the only thing that made them different from the UFC was the hexagon cage and the colored gloves. Oh and one more thing, the UFC was consistently a far superior product because they had more money and better fighters.

The tournaments mask Bellator’s weaknesses. Those weaknesses being everything other than the fact they run tournaments. Bellator is not competition, they’re an alternative. If you’re going to be an alternative, then you have to be different than what is normal. Tournaments, and the round cage, do that. Running smaller venues does that. Having a different presentation style does that.

Scott Coker is a good promoter, it’s not actually his fault that Strikeforce went out of business, but Strikeforce went out of business, it’s a failed brand. If Strikeforce was still around and announced a merger with Bellator, that’s one thing. But when a man founds a company, makes it a success, then gets fired and replaced for a captain that is fresh off a sinking ship he was at the helm of, something about that seems off to me.

Coker has earned the benefit of the doubt that he can steer Bellator in the right direction based on his past history of success, but then again, so did Bjorn Rebney.

potatoshooterlogosportsrollby @anarchyroll

The UFC creating a women’s division to exploit the sex appeal of Ronda Rousey, which make no mistake about it is what they’re doing, is the equivalent of NASCAR creating an all women’s driving circuit for Danica Patrick.

If you were surprised that the main event of UFC 170 was a disappointment, you haven’t been paying attention to the career of Ronda Rousey. Which is the norm, most mma fans (men) pay attention to her body as opposed to her body of work. The only entertaining fight Rousey has had was her rematch with Meisha Tate, and that fight came at after the first co-ed season of The Ultimate Fighter, cough cough.

I’m not trolling Rousey, she’s an Olympic medalist. She pays her taxes, she earns her money by putting her body through a rigorous training schedule, followed by putting in on the line in hand to hand combat. She is also a fraud, she is nothing more than Gina Carano with the ability to lock on an arm bar, against a field of competitors who don’t know how to defend it.

Just like how Royce Gracie was great in an era where fighters had no clue how to defend or attack ju jitzu. The difference of course is Royce had the balls or in the case of Rousey, courage to fight anyone in ANY weight class. Rousey, as you may or may not know, is ducking the real best female mixed martial artist in the world Cristiane “Cyborg” Justino.

If Rousey is such a great, legendary, pioneer, why won’t she put on the ten pounds and fight Cyborg? Because Rousey is the champ? Sorry, both were Strikeforce champions and Dana White made the choice to hand Rousey a UFC Title at a press conference, as opposed to, oh I don’t know, a tournament or at least a fight to determine the champion.

If the UFC was serious about women’s MMA they would have either awarded both Rousey and Cyborg or made Rousey move up weight since Cyborg has been fighting longer and has a better professional record than Rousey. What does Rousey have going for her that Cyborg doesn’t? See picture below.

Ronda Rousey is a good person and is a women’s MMA pioneer because she has gotten over in the mainstream. But she was handed her title at a press conference and fights in a division of feeders, because there is no women’s MMA yet. Don’t believe me? Go ask Invicta FC what their average live attendance figures are.

Three, five, ten years from now women’s MMA will be vibrant and thriving. But not now. Now it is just a two woman sport. They are separated by ten pounds. One is hot, the other is not. And if you think for one second that Rousey isn’t being exploited and promoted for her sex appeal more so than her athletic ability…then I have a bridge and a time share I’d like to sell you.  Think I’m just a sexist? Well, then why does Rousey repeatedly talk about in interviews how having more sex before fights helps her get into better shape? The only male equivalent to that, is GSP talking about how his coaches make him stay abstinent during training.

Stop posing naked, stop talking about how fucking a lot makes you a better fighter, and fight the more established, better, less attractive fighter who is your equal or better, and people like me will have nothing but respect for Rousey. Until then, she’s just Danica Patrick with her own race track of amateur competition at best.