By: Jamie Penick, MMATorch Editor-in-Chief
The future of Strikeforce as a fight promotion is very much in doubt as 2012 comes to a close. After injuries took out their headlining fights for two straight events, Showtime pulled their plans for televising the events, which in turn caused both events to be canceled.
Though they've publicly stated plans for an event in January, many see it as just a matter of time before the organization is folded entirely. One of those is UFC Hall of Famer Randy Couture, whose son Ryan has competed in Strikeforce for his entire professional career.
Couture spoke with Spike TV's MMA Uncensored Live on Thursday, and articulated his thoughts on the future of the organization.
"Yeah, there are some questions there," Couture said (transcribed by BloodyElbow.com). "I know the Showtime relationship with Zuffa has been rocky. I know they hoped to renew that relationship and build that relationship, but they weren't able to pull that off. I think you're gonna see the Strikeforce guys absorbed and plucked like they did the WEC."
"So, then the question is, is Ryan gonna be one of those guys they want to keep, or is he gonna be one of those guys that gets cut loose? Where are we gonna go with him? The Showtime contract's up this year, so early next year, I think you'll see something happen."
Penick's Analysis: Couture's on point with his thoughts here. It really seems like just a matter of time before Strikeforce is folded, and it seems like the card planned for January could be one final soiree for the organization. There doesn't seem to be much reason for Showtime to keep television rights for the organization when they're dependent on so few fighters as headliners for their cards, and all of the fighters on roster would be better served to be brought in the UFC or allowed to go elsewhere. As far as Ryan Couture is concerned, he may have done enough through six fights in Strikeforce to get a shot in the UFC, but even if he hasn't, a couple wins outside would surely bring him in. Regardless, it's more than likely time for Strikeforce to be done, and it will be better for all parties involved when that happens.
[Randy Couture art by Cory Gould (c) MMATorch.com]