Ronda Rousey to UFC, Strikeforce will fold after January card.

Some big news came out today, first part of the news is that Ronda Rousey will become the first female fighter to join the UFC. Second part is that Strikeforce will close shop following their January event that is headlined by Gilbert Melendez vs Pat Healy. This 2-part news bit is set to play a huge role in a lot of ways. Some initial thoughts:

–Gilbert Melendez is finally going to come to the UFC. Hardcore fans have been dying to see Melendez fight with UFC caliber competition. Since BJ Penn was champion, people wanted to see Melendez fight against Penn. Then against Edgar. Then Henderson. But if Nate Diaz wins the title in December, Gilbert Melendez will never face such a close friend like Nate. Will Melendez be content being behind Nate in the lightweight division or will he drop down to featherweight to face people like Frankie Edgar, Clay Guida, The Korean Zombie and Jose Aldo?

–With Ronda Rousey going to UFC, this means that UFC is going to have to get women fighters. The future and health of Invicta could potentially be damaged if UFC goes after many of their female fighters. Ronda Rousey on Fox would be a great move on UFC’s part.

–Lots of Strikeforce fighters had difficulty getting an audience or finding better fights in their weightclass. Now, finally fighters like Jacare will be able to get the attention and competition they so richly deserve.

–Now that Strikeforce is officially no more, Bellator is now officially the 2nd biggest MMA organization in the world. More attention will now be provided towards Bellator, and they will be making their Spike TV debut on January.

–Rumor has it that Showtime still wants to continue with its MMA programming. Strikeforce never actually made a profit in its entire existence. What promotion can they get now? WSOF, MFC, Shark Fights, Legacy, OneFC, and many more just don’t feel like they belong on premium channels. Strikeforce had fighters that were at least world-class fighters like Gilbert Melendez, Nick Diaz, Dan Henderson, Jake Shields, Fedor Emelianenko, Fabricio Werdum, Ronda Rousey, Alistair Overeem, etc. None of those promotions have one of those guys, let alone that many of them. Honestly, what Showtime could do is continue on what they’ve been doing this hear – building a stronger and better boxing brand. Scott Christ at BadLeftHook has an excellent article here that discusses what Showtime has done in 2012. I think it’s smarter for Showtime to focus on their relationship with GBP and with fighters like Saul “Canelo” Alvarez, Victor Ortiz, Amir Khan, Miguel Cotto, and many more boxing stars. I’ll watch those other MMA promotions on Axs or NBC Sports.

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