What Happens to the Women if Strikeforce is Dissolved
With the potential dissolution of Strikeforce I thought it would be interesting to ponder some potential outcomes from the fallout as it relates to the women’s division. For the men it is pretty obvious what will happen, the fighters deemed worthy will be moved over to the UFC, but what of the women? The way I see it there are really only 3, 3 and half, ways this ends for the women and I believe that it all strongly revolves around Ronda Rousey and how much Dana believes in Ronda’s ability to sell. Let me explain.
If Dana believes he can create and promote an entire division with Ronda as his center piece he will do just that. If this is the case I would imagine he calls up Miesha Tate and offers her the chance to rematch with Ronda as the first female bout in UFC history. I see this fight being on the Super Bowl card as a co-main event which would give them plenty of time to promote the card and let the girls sell it. Miesha is the only option here because she has proven she can help sell and draw a crowd and she is probably the only other female fighter that is any kind of draw in the arena Dana is thinking. Remember, this would be the first women’s bout in UFC history and Zuffa would only go in with a bang. Don’t think that this direction would be all positive, should the UFC go this route I would thoroughly expect them to stop working with Invicta FC and I would imagine that they would greatly reduce Invicta’s ability to create a strong 135lb division.
Now maybe Dana still isn’t convinced that he can promote and sell a women’s division or maybe he thinks he already has too many divisions but he does not want to let go of Ronda so easily. If this is the case then I could easily see them maintaining the contracts they currently have and solidifying their partnership with Invicta FC. The UFC could then promote “super fights” with Ronda and some other worthy opponents as they see fit. If this was the case I would imagine Ronda would get no belt but she would be fighting in the UFC, making UFC money with them bringing in the best to compete against her. The UFC would have to maintain the current contracts they have because if they are not planning on maintaining the division they would still need leverage for getting other top level fighters to come compete in these “super fights” and the only way they can do that is to have something to offer another promotion, especially since co-promotion is not an option. Should this be the avenue that Zuffa takes then the fight I see happening first would be Ronda Rousey vs Cris Cyborg. This is another fight that casual followers of the women’s divisions could relate to and be interested in and is honestly the only fight that makes sense as a “super fight” in the UFC.
The third option is the other obvious option, dissolve the entire division and cut the remaining fighters. Dana loves Ronda, but maybe he still really believes he cannot promote the women so he cuts all ties. I don’t see this as likely because Dana and Zuffa have put a lot of time into promoting Ronda and generally I think it is clear that her marketability, in their minds, is higher than some of the entire divisions currently in the UFC. Should this happen I would imagine almost all the women would flock to Invicta FC and the matchmaking there would become EXTREMELY interesting. Since I don’t see this happening at all I am not even going to go into details of possible outcomes.
Now I know I said that there are 3, 3 and a half options, so let me explain. My second option was to put Ronda in “super fights” and not really create a real division just one off fights. Well it is possible that maybe Dana and company aren’t really sure which direction they want to go long term so maybe they setup the Rousey vs Cyborg fight for now, likely at a catch weight of 140, and determine what to do later based on the viewership numbers for the card.
If I had to venture a guess I would say that the most likely outcome here is that the we see the last option. I think Dana is definitely not yet convinced that the division has a strong enough pool to promote within the ranks of the UFC but he does want to cash in on Ronda’s marketability so it only makes sense to put together a fight that the casual fans would want to see to test the waters, perfect setup for Rousey vs Cyborg at a 140lb catch weight bout. Let me know what you think by either commenting below or tweeting me, @TapouT2TaxeS, let’s discuss.