With the belated demise of Strikeforce all but complete, as rumors of a final show in January do the rounds, before tenuous ties with Showtime Sports are cut forever: Where does this leave the landscape of MMA in North America, in dire need of a viable competitor to the UFC?
Strikeforce in reality died the day that Zuffa took ownership of the promotion, as the cream of the crop was shifted over to the UFC ranks, seeing title-holders like of Nick Diaz, Alastair Overeem and Dan Henderson cherry picked, in-so depleting much of the star power of the organisation and souring relations with Showtime.
At the end of the day, Zuffa was never interested in running two separate brands and has always been committed to building the UFC Empire, crushing all and sundry in the process.
The end of Strikeforce is a blessing in disguise as Showtime can finally look for other alternatives. Showtime has invested a lot of collateral into building MMA into the psyche of their viewership on Cable TV, and would be surprising for them to pull out this far down the line.
Welterweight Title bout (St-Pierre vs. Condit):
St-Pierre vs Condit is one of the most long-awaited fights of 2012, with Welterweight Champion Georges St-Pierre returning from ACL surgery, which has kept him out of action over 18 months, raising serious concerns about his longevity on top the 170 pound division.
The jury is still out whether the Canadian Superstar will be the same fighter post knee surgery, which would have ended careers 10 years. GSP relies so much on his punishing takedown, which can only be affected adversely by this kind of injury. The 31-year-old may have to return to his root of striking, thou Interim Champion Carlos Condit has a reach and height advantage, and is arguably the best Muay Thai practitioner in the 170 pound division.
Condit did show vulnerability on the ground in his last fight when Nick Diaz took him down in the fifth round, almost sinking in a submission. Having seen some of GSP's preparations for the fight, he definitely looks a yard slower and we may well be seeing a changing of the guard if Condit can force the pace early.