If you thought things were going to be less complicated now that the UFC-owned Strikeforce had it’s deal re-upped with Showtime, think again. Following the less than excellent Rockhold vs Jardine event from a few weeks ago, Dana White had this to say about the promotion’s future prospects:
“Let’s just say the first Strikeforce fight didn’t go the way I wanted it to go,” White said. “When you get into a deal where the network controls what goes on, controls the production, controls everything – I’m working on that. I’m working on that as we speak. When these guys hand over the reigns and let me run that [expletive] thing, it will change.”
White declined to reveal his master plan but did admit he needs Showtime to cede some power in order to execute his idea.
“I’ve got to get my hands on that thing,” White said. “I’ve got to get my hands on the production and start controlling that show. If I don’t, then it is what it is.
“We’ve got two years with these guys, but Showtime will run it (if I can’t get control). We’ll let Showtime run it on their own.”
I don’t think anyone will disagree that the product being put on Showtime could stand for some improvements. Some of the commentator booth interactions we’ve witnessed have been more awkward than farting during sex, and events lumber from terrible interview to terrible interview. It’s enough to make you wish for the Castrol commercial waterboarding treatment we get via Spike.
But we already knew Showtime’s production is kinda crappy. The UFC knew this going into their deal. But now that they’ve got a contract in place it sounds like they’re less tolerant of what’s been going on since day 1. What gives? Or is this over something larger than just production value? If you told me Showtime forced Keith Jardine into that title shot, I might get outraged. But that smells like a UFC move. So who’s really to blame for that January show again?