As we compile notable reactions and responses, we will continue to post them here. Of note to me is how rapidly the formerly disgruntled with the UFC are now full swing into turnabouts. Next on the list is former UFC heavyweight Todd Duffee. Duffee was axed from the promotion for griping about pay on Twitter, although his loss to Mike Russow didn't help. So how is he handling the news? It's all kittens and ice cream for Duffee:
"My first thought was all the great possible match-ups we will get to see. I understand they will be operating separately for some time but I hope when they say cross promotion they are saying mega fights will happen not just strike force will have a booth at the fan expos. More unified rules and possibly better judging due to the fact that zuffa will have more power to help make those changes. Another step in gaining the same respect the NBA, NHL, NFL, MLB etc. Strikeforce will now have the money to put on more shows meaning guys won't have to sit on the shelf for long periods of time. More shows means possibly more free shows. More pull within the japanese market due to strikeforces good relations which might save Japanese mma. The naysayers can now be ignored an we can rest assured that the tourney will go on. Also the greater possibility of more tournaments in the future as a feeder into the big shows."
I don't disagree with many of his points, but the issue remains: the leveraging power of fighters has shrunk dramatically.
In other news, I was curious to see what the future of EA MMA might be. Perhaps EA will find a way to work with the UFC. Perhaps not. Given the contentious history, it's hard to forecast what could happen. I had no idea Josh Barnett was going to call Dana White "metal" earlier today. For now, though, here are the prospects:
Last year's EA Sports MMA was licensed by Strikeforce, using its rules, many of its fighters, and venues where major Strikeforce cards have been fought. The two had a hand-in-glove promotional relationship leading up to the game's release, including bouts fought during E3 under Electronic Arts' sponsorship.
Though EA Sports MMA did not perform to analysts' sales expectations, a producer vowed in November that the publisher would make a sequel. That may be off now; UFC President Dana White has made no secret of his contempt for EA Sports. Further, the UFC and THQ, publisher of the UFC Undisputed Series, have an exclusive partnership lasting through 2018.
EA Sports MMA was reviewed positively and praised for its controls, which placed strikes on the right analog stick and moved transitions and grappling to the face buttons, the reverse of UFC Undisputed 2010. THQ in August announced that UFC Undisputed, which also had a 2009 edition, would skip 2011 and move to an every-other-year production cycle.
In short: chances of EA having any role in the MMA market are moving from slim to none.