One of the reasons people were so damned surprised by the sale of Strikeforce to the UFC was that no one knew the promotion was even for sale. When asked how the deal was put together when so many people had fingers in the Strikeforce pie, Dana White responded “We just went to the people who could get it done, and we got it done.” It turns out that those people were Silicon Valley Sports & Entertainment, Scott Coker’s partners in the promotion.
According to the “San Jose Business Journal,” Strikeforce generated $30 million in revenue for the 2010-2011 fiscal year.
“Silicon Valley was relatively happy with the returns but didn’t want to take it to the next level,” one source said.
But another source said the sports franchise had been losing cash and had grown skittish with its investment.
And what had them looking for a way out? Don’t be too shocked, okay?
Elsewhere, Wrestling Observer writer Dave Meltzer is reporting that the financial relationship between Strikeforce and M-1 Global proved so burdensome to the former that they were forced to seek outside funding, allowing potential buyers in.
Interestingly enough, it sounds like Scott Coker tried to stop the sale of Strikeforce by buying up Silicon Valley Sports & Entertainment’s part of the business:
Sources confirmed Coker, the current Strikeforce CEO, attempted to wrest control of the brand, but in the end was unsuccessful. Instead, an agreement to sell Strikeforce’s licensing rights, fighter contracts and video library closed with the UFC on Thursday or Friday.
Which might put Scott in a similar position to Showtime in that he’s being left to deal with the hand he’s been given, whether he particularly likes it or not. He goes from being part owner of Strikeforce to a Zuffa employee who’ll run the promotion for as long as he keeps the higher ups happy. Considering he’ll now be the go-between for all the parties that hate his new bosses’ guts, it should be an oh so fun job.