Dave Meltzer Exposes UFC/Strikeforce/Showtime Fighter "List"If you are a fan of Dave Meltzer and follow his podcast, then you probably have heard the breaking news stemming from his latest podcast. But if you haven't heard the podcast yet, continue reading.
Following last night's Strikeforce: Rockhold vs. Kennedy card, the usual talk of which Strikeforce fighters should be looking to move to the UFC began. However, Meltzer's podcast opened many eyes, and ears, discussing the issue, but shocking many with the declaration that "but that can't happen because of the deal with Showtime."
At first, it wasn't completely clear what Meltzer meant by this, but as the podcast went on, it became clearer. Meltzer went on to mention that Showtime, feeling some pressure after the loss of fighters such as Nick Diaz and Dan Henderson, had struck a deal with Zuffa to basically "ban" certain Strikeforce fighters from moving to the UFC as long as Showtime, Strikeforce's current broadcast home, airs MMA. Not only Strikeforce either, as long as Showtime broadcasts ANY MMA.
Quoting Meltzer: "They made this list of guys and they said 'these are our guys' and, even if their contract expires, they can't move to UFC. That's part of their deal with keeping this alive. So these guys are stuck." While it is not clear which fighters are on this list, it seems as if at least three current Strikeforce champions are included, according to Meltzer.
"He (Gilbert Melendez) couldn't go to UFC. He could go to Bellator if he wanted to, but he couldn't go to the UFC....There's a list of guys, not everyone on Showtime is on the list, but Ronda Rousey is on the list, Gilbert Melendez is on the list, Luke Rockhold is on the list...It's for as long as Showtime broadcasts MMA."
However, Rousey may fall into a different degree of "banned":
"As long as Showtime and Zuffa have a contract to broadcast events, Rousey can only fight on a UFC show if Showtime allows her to do so. She's not banned, but Showtime has to make the decision. That's why I recommended Showtime should allow her to fight on the December UFC show."
When asked what the contract may entail, and if Zuffa could possibly challenge the contract in a court of law, Meltzer had this to say:
"They can't because it's a contract the UFC has; it's not a fighter deal. I've had the whole thing explained to me by one of the fighters on the list. Zuffa isn't going to do it to be in breach of contract. The contract is between Zuffa and Showtime, and that this list of fighters are Showtime fighters and if they're in the Zuffa organization they will fight on Showtime."
This is a truly shocking development if Meltzer, a usually reliable source in the MMA world, if correct. When Zuffa purchased Strikeforce, many felt it was to raid the talent, and then shut the doors, but with the prolonged life of Strikeforce leaving some to wonder what the holdup was, and why certain fighters were still fighting for Strikeforce, this could be the answer they were looking for.
Basically, what all this means is that any fighter on this "list" must remain on Showtime as long as they are fighting under the Zuffa banner. If they choose to leave Zuffa, they are free to sign anywhere, but cannot sign with the UFC for as long as Showtime is in the MMA broadcasting game.
Published by Jasyn Zangari - Mon, 16 Jul 2012 00:46