Late Thursday night, it was reported by multiple outlets that Ronda Rousey would become the first official female fighter in UFC history. That is huge news in itself, obviously, but not totally unexpected. Dana White had said frequently in recent months that he wanted to bring Rousey into the fold – it was just a matter of when not if.
Still, when the news of her officially being added to the fold broke (still unconfirmed, though), that stole the majority of the headlines. What folks didn’t think about was what the move would mean for Rousey's current brand: Strikeforce. For better or worse, she was probably the most well-known mainstream personality in the promotion. Losing her would be a huge (and sort of unnecessary blow) to its survival odds.
Well, as it turns out, it won’t be a blow to Strikeforce’s survival odds. Why? Because Strikeforce is folding either way, apparently. As reported by Kevin Iole of Yahoo! Sports:
Multiple sources confirmed to Yahoo! Sports Thursday that Zuffa has reached a deal with Showtime to end the Strikeforce promotion sometime early in 2013, a move that will bring superstar Ronda Rousey into the UFC … The plan is for the promotion to fold after a Jan. 12 card in Oklahoma City, in which all of the Strikeforce men's champions will defend their belts. A source stressed that nothing has been signed and, thus, things could change.
White didn’t confirm or deny anything on Thursday night, but he did send out this tweet when all of these rumors began making the rounds:
— Dana White (@danawhite) November 9, 2012
Was that smiley face about Rousey joining the UFC? Strikeforce folding? Both? We’ll find out soon enough.
(Kudos Yahoo! Sports)