First it was PRIDE and then the WEC. Now add Strikeforce to the list.
UFC president Dana White today announced in an interview that Zuffa LLC, the parent company of the Ultimate Fighting Championship, has purchased Strikeforce.
Terms of the purchase were not immediately disclosed, but White characterized the transaction as "a good deal."
White said under the terms of the purchase, Strikeforce talent will remain on the promotion's roster for the time being, though UFC fighters could potentially make their way into the organization.
"Strikeforce is going to continue to run business as usual," White said "There are contracts in place. These guys are on Showtime. Strikeforce pulls good ratings for Showtime. I think Showtime is happy with them. All those contracts will be honored. These guys are going to remain Strikeforce fighters.
"Could guys from the UFC leave and end up over in Strikeforce? Yeah."
Similar to Zuffa's retention of WEC executive Reed Harris following the 2006 purchase of his company, Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker will remain a part of the company and will run day-to-day operations. Coker's West Coast Entertainment company and Silicon Valley Sports & Entertainment, which runs the NHL's San Jose Sharks and the HP Pavilion in San Jose, Calif., previously owned Strikeforce.
White ruled out the possibility off cross-promotion "superfights" featuring fighters from both promotions and said current fighter contracts, broadcast deals and business partnerships will be unaffected.
White suggested the primary motivating factor for the purchase was to acquire new talent as Zuffa LLC continues its global expansion. However, White also insisted that Strikeforce will continue to operate as an independent entity, right down to negotiating for fighters' services.
"That's a separate business that has their own income," White said. "They have their own budgets and everything else that they do. They have they're own television deals. If they're that interested in acquiring (a fighter), it's no different than it was before."
White later clarified that fighters such as Paul Daley and Josh Barnett, whom the UFC boss has publicly condemned for various reasons, would be free to negotiate with Strikeforce under the terms of the new deal.