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UFC and Strikeforce Will Merge Eventually Following Purchase: the Good and Bad

There was a monstrous announcement made Saturday that will change the MMA landscape. Dana White told MMA Fighting’s Ariel Helwani that UFC’s parent company, Zuffa LLC., has come to an agreement to purchase Strikeforce. This is easily the biggest news since the UFC bought Pride back in 2007 and it can mean many things, both good and bad, for MMA.

Let’s start with the good. The best part of Strikeforce being purchased by Zuffa is that all the fighters for both organizations are now owned by the same company. White stressed in his interview that everything will be “business as usual” and that the organizations will remain separate. He repeated that contracts will be honored, and that Strikeforce will continue to run as it has.

But that won’t last long.

As soon as fighters’ contracts are up and TV deals come to an end, Strikeforce will no doubt be absorbed by the UFC.

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Herschel Walker Interested in Wrestling too

Herschel Walker won his second career MMA fight in January despite being 48 years old (he turned 49 on March 3rd). The legendary athlete won the Heisman Trophy at Georgia in 1982, was a two-time USFL rushing leader, had half a team traded for him in the NFL, and is now a good MMA fighter. Oh yeah, I forgot to mention he also was an Olympics bobsledder. But if you thought he’d be slowing down at all this late in life, you were wrong. If and when his MMA career ends, he may consider a future in wrestling in addition to the comeback he’s considered in football.

Walker was backstage at Raw on Monday night in Dallas as a guest of Mark Henry. In an interview with WWE.com via Wrestle Newz, Walker said he’s been a wrestling fan for years. “I watched wrestling before I even knew what football was. In fact, I always wanted to be a wrestler. … I’ve watched these guys for a long time and I respect them a great deal,” Walker said. “If Vince McMahon wants me in there, then maybe I could do it.”

Maybe he was playing to the audience somewhat, but Walker also said that he watches Monday Night Raw over Monday Night Football during the season. It sure sounds like he’s a dedicated fan. Now if you’re wondering if it could work, I think so. Walker is a superhuman God. He is a rare physical specimen and he captures my attention no matter what he’s doing. Throw him in any ring and I’m watching.

Dan Henderson Still Getting it Done at 40

Dan Henderson beat Rafael Feijao on Saturday night in Columbus to win the Strikeforce Light Heavyweight title. Fighting his third bout since leaving the UFC after a knockout of Michael Bisping at UFC 100, Hendo put his incredible punching power on display, flattening Feijao with a devastating right hand a minute into the third round.

Though MMA has legends like Randy Couture who was still fighting at age 47, it’s mostly a younger man’s sport. That’s what makes Henderson’s knockout of Feijao so impressive — he hasn’t lost an ounce of punching power at age 40.

The same overhand right termed the “H-bomb” that made Feijao hit the canvas is the same one Henderson used to floor Bisping earning him Knockout of the Night. It’s also the same right hand that made Babalu Sobral’s head bobble on the ground in their December fight, and it proves that even though he may be susceptible to punches and takedowns himself, Henderson has a chance at a knockout in any fight.

The question is where he goes from here.

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Cyborg Santos WWE Rumor Likely Was Negotiating Ploy for New Contract

A report emerged on Thursday suggesting that Strikeforce middleweight women’s champion Christine Cyborg Santos was negotiating with the WWE on a potential deal that would have her switch from MMA to wrestling. Yahoo!’s Dave Meltzer said on Saturday that the report was b.s. after the WWE denied they offered Santos a contract.

So unless some Brazilian site manufactured the report to gain headlines, where did the WWE report come from? Perhaps from Cyborg’s business managers who are looking for leverage in contract negotiations with Strikeforce.

Cyborg hasn’t fought since June and she’s looking to pull in more money from the organization. Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker has said the two sides are looking to finalize a deal soon. What better way to manipulate the talks and manufacture demand than by playing up the threat of a second option?

Anyone who follows baseball knows that Scott Boras clients frequently have “mystery teams” interested in their services. For Cyborg, a mystery team wouldn’t do, but the threat of joining the WWE is probably enough to get more favorable terms in her next deal with Strikeforce. In my opinion, she’s not a big-time sell for them. Their two biggest drawing cards are Fedor and Gina Carano, bottom line.

GSP Having Second Thoughts About Fighting Anderson Silva

Georges St. Pierre and Anderson Silva are widely considered to be two of the top pound-for-pound fighters in the world. Silva’s 28-4 and coming off an incredible win over Vitor Belfort. The Spider has won 14 straight and fought at both middleweight and light heavyweight. GSP is 21-2 and has won his last eight fights in a row, all as a welterweight. He has a fight coming up against former Strikeforce champ Jake Shields late April in Toronto. After that, there’s been talk of a GSP-Silva superfight should St. Pierre come out victorious.

The St. Pierre-Silva fight is one fans have been dying to see for quite some time, but it appears as if the bout is no certainty. Speaking at UFC on Versus 3 Thursday evening, GSP said he’s focusing on his fight with Shields first before anything else, but he also was hesitant to talk about plans to fight Silva.

GSP’s biggest concern centers around the weight issue. During an interview, he said “It would take a long time [to put on that kind of weight]. Anderson Silva is a huge guy, he’s weighing around 230 pounds. He’s very big. Even when he fought as a light heavyweight he looked bigger than the other guys. I don’t know if I’m gonna go up to 185. I have no idea. It’s a complete reorientation of my career. I have a lot to lose.”

If he’s reluctant to fight because he has a lot to lose, that’s a poor attitude. But if his concerns are over weight issues, that makes complete sense. Silva is a bigger guy and has four inches of height and 20 pounds on GSP. He would have a clear advantage in a sport where a lot of the fighting is based on strength, leverage, and tactics on the ground. They would have to meet at an agreeable weight that would make the two equally uncomfortable. Remember, it won’t be easy for Silva to drop down in weight either. Hopefully GSP beats Shields and the superfight goes down.

Pictures: Dwayne Lewis Gets a Golf Ball Eye After Loss to Ryan Jimmo

Ryan Jimmo beat Dwayne Lewis to win the vacant light-heavyweight MFC championship on Friday night in Alberta. The fight was stopped early in the third round because D-Bomb’s left eye had a D-bomb in it, as you can see. Here are more pictures of Lewis’ eye that announcer Michael Schiavello called the “worst I have seen in mma.”

DWAYNE LEWIS EYE PICTURES

That was pretty bad. The question is how does it compare to Antonio Margarito’s eye and Fedor Emelianenko’s eye? I say it’s the worst of the bunch. What about you?

Jon Jones Explains How He Mentally Humanizes Opposing Fighters

Jon Bones Jones is one of the hottest prospects in MMA, and the emerging star has earned a shot at the title against Shogun Rua at UFC 128. The 23-year-old’s career has moved quickly, and we’re learning that his accomplishments are due to his mental approach as much as his physical tools and athletic skills. Take for instance the strategies he uses as he explained it to Pro MMA Now in an interview:

“I just put in extra effort into the mind and things like that, a lot of sports psychology, a lot of meditation, a lot of religion, things like that.” Jones continued “As far as when I’m in the Octagon, I’m always looking at the opponent’s body when I’m standing there. I’m big on not fighting an opponent’s name, his credentials, his past fights, his face. I fight the body and when I’m standing across and I’m looking at his body, I’m really just humanizing the guy, and looking at imperfection in his physique.”

His comments remind me a lot of what I’ve heard from certain football coaches. If you ever hear some coaches talk, they hardly ever refer to an opposing player by name. Instead, some of them only refer to opposing players by number. Think about it: is it easier to tackle number 28 for the Vikings, or Adrian Peterson? Tackling number 28 is a lot less intimidating than trying to bring down All Day. It’s the same thing in fighting and all physical games — mentally humanizing your opponent can give you an edge in competition. Mastering the mental game is just as important as the physical one when it comes to combat sports. It’s no surprise that Jones is so advanced despite his age given his approach.