Dana White Apologizes to Strikeforce Fighters; “I’m Really Disgusted By (What Happened)”

January 12, 2013
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Dana White TUF 16 Press ConferenceTo say Zuffa’s post-acquisition ownership of Strikeforce hasn’t gone according to plan would be a major understatement.

UFC president Dana White was extremely enthusiastic when talking about his role with Strikeforce, promising that he had big plans for the promotion to help lift it up to be seen in a light similar to the UFC.

Unfortunately, things didn’t go as planned.

White is used to being able to call the shots, or at least have a television partner that is on the same wavelength as he is. That didn’t happen with Strikeforce.

Strikeforce was already locked into a television deal with Showtime, and that deal didn’t allow for White to operate the way he wanted to.

He’s been mum on much of the details of his relationship with Showtime, but suffice it say, it wasn’t good and when that went south, so did the prospects for Strikeforce as a competitive promotion.

The bottom fell out and Strikeforce started tumbling and bumbling towards extinction, which comes on Jan. 12, when the promotion is slated to operate its final event and shut its doors.

As much as we always focus on the promotion itself closing down, like what happened with Pride, the WEC, and others, there are real people behind those promotions, in particular, the fighters that are the core of the product.

As disappointed as White has been about Strikeforce’s downfall and the missed opportunities as a business, where the situation really hits home for him is with the fighters that had to suffer through month after tumultuous month of wondering what was happening with their employer.

“What’s happened to those guys over in Strikeforce, it’s terrible. It’s really bad what happened to them over there and it makes me sick,” said White recently.

When he fell out with Showtime officials, White removed himself from the situation almost entirely, but he still feels a strong sense of responsibility towards the fighters that suffered through the situation.

“I should probably sit down with all of them,” he said. “I apologize for everything that’s gone on for the last eight months. I’m really disgusted by it.”

The UFC has scooped up several other fight promotions over the years, each with its own baggage and complications. Some have been more successful than others.

Pride never ran another event after the UFC’s purchase, the company running into numerous stumbling blocks with the way fight promotion’s operate in Japan and with the people that entangled the Pride operations.

On the opposite end of the spectrum was World Extreme Cagefighting, which continued to operate as a separate entity with a degree of success. The WEC’s crowning achievement, however, was expanding the prominence of the lower weight classes in mixed martial arts and eventually folding into the UFC, expanding its roster.

What happened with Strikeforce was an entirely different level of frustration for White, who still won’t reveal the details of his frustration, other than to acknowledge it had to do with the Showtime relationship.

It’s been a long, torturous lesson, but White takes it for what it’s worth, lesson learned.

“It won’t happen again; (expletive) is over now.”

Check out what Dana White had to say about the downfall of Strikeforce following the UFC 155 post-fight press conference…

  • http://www.facebook.com/Dublinyoface747 David Dc Cardona

    when the Zuffa co buys your mma organization your done

    • http://www.CombatScienceMMA.com/ CombatScienceMMA

      Strikeforce was for sale and Zuffa purchased them. They put money into the promotion to keep it going for the fan base and fighters. Showtime is what contributed to the downfall. Now Zuffa is bringing over some of the top fighters from the organization to keep them in the rankings and making sure they get fights and pay days. Strikeforce would have been done a long time ago if it wasn’t for Zuffa. Besides everybody complains that the guys in Strikeforce need to fight UFC fighters to be considered top fighters. You fans are real funny who like to enjoy the sport and lack any type of knowledge of the business itself. It’s real easy to sit around and watch the fight though and make comments.

      • Richurd Cheese

        It’s called horizontal integration dummy. It’s funny how you know almost nothing, maybe that’s why you talk so much.

        • http://www.CombatScienceMMA.com/ CombatScienceMMA

          You don’t understand but enjoy the fights.

          • Richurd Cheese

            Your logic is flawed, I understand perfectly what you are trying to say. That is why I can easily dismiss your attempt at an argument. I think it has been said, “A closed mouth cannot receive any foot.”
            You should keep yours shut, and listen, until you shed some of your ignorance…

          • http://www.CombatScienceMMA.com/ CombatScienceMMA

            Richurd it’s simple, we don’t have the same views or share the same opinions. You obviously don’t know how to have a friendly conversation. I may have come down hard on fans who disrespect fighters and don’t understand the business side of the sport but never would I tell somebody they don’t have a right to share their views and to keep their mouth shut. Enjoy the fights.

          • Richurd Cheese

            You obviously don’t have very much education. I’m not demanding that you be silent, that would be impossible. I just suggested that you should be quiet, because every time you open your mouth, your lack of education is exposed. Your views and opinions are based on your experiences, of which education is not. In case you didn’t get it… You are ignorant, and if you want everyone to know that, keep talking all you want!

          • Choto

            And yet you offer no logic or original information. Cry more.

          • Richurd Cheese

            http://www.ehow.com/about_6714197_horizontal-vertical-integration.html

            There you go, I shouldn’t have to offer information, its all out there to be had, go get it dummy!

  • Bill

    This goddamn mmaweekly and it’s advertisements. Who wants to boycott with me?

    • Mike mckinney

      Probably all the people choosing to not go to the site. The rest of the people who’ve went through puberty understand advertising is how entertainment, and news companies make money.
      It would be like boycotting the UFC because Bruce buffer takes the time to mention bud light.

      • http://www.CombatScienceMMA.com/ CombatScienceMMA

        Witty response. Love it.

  • cebbec

    If the UFC had not taken one single fighter from Strikeforce including Alistair Overeem, Nick Diaz, Dan Henderson, Fabricio Werdum, Bigfoot Silva, and more I’m sure I’m forgetting.
    Of course we, the fans, would’ve missed out on a lot of great fights but the organization would’ve almost certainly done a lot better. It’s really not fair to act like it’s not UFC’s fault when they took 90% of strikeforces stars.

    • http://www.CombatScienceMMA.com/ CombatScienceMMA

      But there are many more talented fighters out there. They are just not big stars yet. The UFC also does a great job of promoting their fighters and making them stars. It’s the fans who don’t care for the other fighters that hurt the sport as well. Showtime really messed up Strikeforce.

      • R

        stop swinging from dana white’s sack. You are in denial. Reality is gonna hit you upside the head with a baseball bat one of these days.

  • Timothy Malone

    If Dana White ever retires, I really hope he finds the time to write an autobiography going into length on all the behind-the-scenes dealings involved with these different stages of UFC history. It would be fascinating.

  • Ron Wheeler

    If another company had bought Strikeforce they ‘might’ have kept going as an independent and successful business. No way of knowing without seeing the financials, but the end result of White getting involved always equals you lose / UFC wins / fans and fighters get ££££ed again.

  • Yannick Messaoud

    They did the same thing with Pride FC which was the best MMA promotion ever, The fighters that won’t be picked up can go to Japan i think Dream is now reformed. Or other organization. Strikeforce was a good company, elite XE has well, its just sad that they keep closing.

  • Darin

    When the UFC and Spike divorced it didn’t mean the end of TUF. Dana just found a deal with another channel. Why didn’t this happen with SF if Dana’s true intention was to keep SF alive? DW is simultaneously awesome and incredibly irritating with all his BS. I’d have more respect for him if he’d stop insulting the intelligence of mma fans.

  • http://www.cagetiger.com/ Cagetiger

    A lot of fighter’s up for grabs hopefully they find homes in the UFC if not Bellator could snatch them up and muscle up their roster also Competition is always good for the sport!!!

  • KarloSilverioSevilla

    Saw it coming: “UFC Imperial Strategy: Buy Them Out, Then Kill Them Softly” http://bleachedmmareports.blogspot.com/2013/01/ufc-imperial-strategy-buy-them-out-then.html

  • john littledove

    Isn’t this article a re posting??? It headlined a week ago and now its back!??? That’s hilarious. Guys running out of articles or what???? Try some new topic please.

  • http://twitter.com/Sarcastos666 Corey Hutton

    Hi my name is Dana and i`m full of ****, i`m lying through my teeth to try to save face. Strikeforce going under is all my fault. But i can never take the blame for my actions, my ego will not allow it.

  • 555

    whats the crack with reposting week old stories especially non stories that have no real point apart from some minor thing dana white said

  • Sir_Roy

    Everything in Dana’s body language reeked of contradiction. Everything. Disgusted my arse. You and Zuffa orchestrated this from the get-go. Gimme a break. Strikeforces days were numbered – just needed to get around the contracts and red tape. And you did so splendidly.

    Hypocrisy used to get ahead in business 101.

    The basic stupidity, or gullibility, of the masses really is that reliable … sigh.