Jonathan Snowden has quickly become the Subo of Bloody Elbow, writing incendiary things like Anderson Silva is unpopular because MMA fans are racist and now Sarah Kaufman is a diva because she dared complain about being undercarded on a Strikeforce Challengers event.
A woman who saw the crowd abandon the building like it was on fire in her last fight, in a sport that has seen a grand total of one woman able to draw a significant audience, was actually complaining about Strikeforce putting her in the co-main event of a nationally televised card. The ego on display there is staggering.
I’m not sure who is in her head, encouraging her to dismiss the enormous opportunities given to her, to bury the promotion that gave her a chance, to ignore the inconvenient fact that fans haven’t yet embraced her-or females fighting. There’s a word for celebrities like this, the ones who lose touch with reality and think they’re a little bit more important than they really are: it’s Diva. Last night was a great night for Sarah Kaufman. But judging by her speech last night, if you’re looking to congratulate her she won’t be down with the masses-Sarah Kaufman will be in VIP.
First I just want to say I’m not the biggest Sarah Kaufman fan in the world. I think she’s overrated because of her name recognition, she has indeed been coming off as generally unpleasant lately, and she’s got a penis for a nose. But I’m perfectly willing to admit bias because I DON’T LIKE HER OR HER PENIS NOSE.
I’m also willing to admit that regardless of that dislike, she has a right to be pissed about her placement on the card. The entire MMA blogosphere has been pointing out how Strikeforce has been wiping it’s ass with it’s titles for the past year, and this is just the latest greatest example. Strikeforce is perfectly in it’s rights to do whatever they want, but that doesn’t mean they get a free pass with stuff like this. Calling a champion a diva because they dared petition for a place on a bigger card is pretty rich.
(Also don’t forget they didn’t even bother to renegotiate her contract when it ran out last, instead hitting her with the champ clause – something the UFC uses to guarantee their champs don’t go anywhere but don’t apply to just skip negotiations. Considering all that I’d say she’s been downright chipper.)
Anyways, if you ask me, the real problem here is Strikeforce Challengers cards as a concept. Here’s bigass general sports site The Big Lead saying what everyone has thought for a while:
This fight headlined [note: did NOT headline] a Strikeforce: Challengers card which is meant to feature up-and-coming fighters. What is a championship fight doing [note again: NOT] headlining a Challengers card? No one knows. Strikeforce has a commitment to women’s MMA, but its not very strong. They have a chance to really promote women’s MMA, but they just seem to have it to have it. If Gina Carano or Cris Cyborg isn’t fighting, they don’t really care. They seem to televise the female fighters out of obligation.
Further, the Challengers cards are pointless. It’s been covered a million different places, but Strikeforce really needs to stop diluting their brand. Just do a Strikeforce show every month and spread out the talent. Are you losing money by removing the bogus “Challengers” tag? They must have paid for a patent and want to get their money’s worth.
It’s not like an organization can’t have two kinds of events – the UFC has it’s PPVs and it’s ultimate fight nights. But the whole ‘Challenger’ angle and the adherence to low roster mixage has made it the B-league of the B-league, something that not only hurts Strikeforce because it lowers people’s interest in the events but sucks for the fighters ‘relegated’ to these cards (not to mention the fighters who are too big that end up sitting on the sidelines for a year waiting for fights on the ‘real’ Strikeforce cards). It’s just all so dumb.