This isn’t a perfect world and even the best looking deals have its pros and cons, it just all depends on what side of the fence you we’re looking from.
Since the bombshell announcement that ZUFFA, the parent company of the UFC had purchased rival promotion Strikeforce, the MMA community has been trying to make heads or tails of the deal. Words like super fights, monopoly and merger have been thrown about, while UFC president Dana White says everything will be “business as usual”.
Business as usual according to White is that both promotions will continue to operate as separate promotions. While that sounds so simple to say it really isn’t that easy, but we’ll all play along for a little while.
The first thing that comes out of everyone’s mouth when talking about this massive acquisition is “super fights”. When the news initially came out White stated the long heard company line that the UFC does not co-promote and fans would not see any super fights. Things loosened up a little during yesterday’s press conference as White said “if the fans wanted the fight, it’s not out of the question,” when asked about super fights.
The pros to having these super fights are the fans could finally see some of these fights that have been dreamed about for years, not to mention the money that would be generated from the PPV buys. The only real drawback to these super fights would be the possible devaluing of the belts should a champion lose.
The next thing you hear is that ZUFFA now holds a “monopoly” on the sport with the addition of Strikeforce. The one side says that with the purchase of Strikeforce, fighters now don’t have another option outside of the ZUFFA umbrella to compete. While the other side will tell you that there are thousands of other promotions out there, including Bellator, Maximum Fighting Championships and BAMMA. As a business one could say this purchase forms a monopoly on promoting MMA, yet as a sport it can’t be considered a monopoly.
The pros to this is that all the fighters now under the ZUFFA umbrella have the backing and full resources, including money of a proven business powerhouse. As for other options for the fighters, there are still plenty of promotions or there with TV deals but if you continue to put on entertaining fights you won’t need another option. The downside for the fighters would be if business isn’t as usual and Strikeforce wouldn’t look at fighters recently released from the UFC.
Final we come to the deal being referred to as a “Merger” which at this time it’s not. At some point this deal might turn into a merger but for now its “business as usual”. To bring this full circle, the obvious pro to a merger would be the above mentioned “super fights” that the fans and fighters want to see. The con here though would be the possibility of ZUFFA having a “monopoly” on promoting MMA as described above. This could bring up possible lawsuits when dealing with claims on a monopoly, but we all know hoe ZUFFA fairs when it comes to lawsuits.
For now though the theme here is everything is, yes you guessed it “business as usual”.