Women’s MMA and Scott Coker betting on Strikeforce’s survival

While MMA’s male heroes had to venture into the late rounds to stay atop their talent laden divisions last weekend, Strikeforce challenger Ronda Rousey was left with plenty of to time ponder what’s next after her 39-second first round submission victory over Julia Budd in Strikeforce Challengers 20 co-main event. “I’m taking up taxidermy” Rousey responded in a post fight interview when asked what she has planned for the leftover limbs from her four straight first round armbar victories, “Since I’m making more money I’m going dress shopping and I’m going hang a dress on every finger on the wall”.

Rousey may be wise learn a new expertise since Strikeforce, the only substantial organization to broadcast women’s professional MMA, is still in danger after Zuffa purchased it last March. While Dana White and the UFC have allowed the organization to survive, Strikeforce’s contract with Showtime is still set to expire with the new year and top male talent such as Nick Diaz, Alistar Overeem, and Mayhem Miller have already been poached by the boys-only club called the UFC .

So will Strikeforce even survive long enough for the blonde judoka Rousey to get her shot at current champ Meisha Tate? Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker thought so in his Post UFC 139 interview with Ariel Helwani. “If you’re a betting man, put your money down that (a new Showtime contract) will happen. I feel very confident that it will go down.” Coker said, adding that Dana White has joined the negotiations with Showtime and that there are plenty of talented fighters around as a couple reason there’s no rush to fold Strikeforce into the UFC.

Unfortunately for the women, depth doesn’t seem to be the case. Strikeforce women’s 145-lbs champion Cristiane “Cyborg” Santos recently revealed that she was asked by Strikeforce officials if she could make the drop to 135-lbs in the future if the organization goes through with plans for only one women’s weight class. Still optimistic about the future of her sport, Cyborg alluded to the fact that she was signed to a new Strikeforce 4-fight contract after the Zuffa buyout. “It depends on what we do to call the UFC’s attention” Cyborg said, showing an understanding that Dana White’s lack of interest has more to do with ratings then sexism.

So although women’s MMA continues to fight off its back for seat at the Zuffa table, rest assured that the ladies are doing their part in the cage. Their future lays in your fastidious hands, MMA fanbase.




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