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Thursday, 12/15/2011, 12:26 pm

MMA NEWS – Strikeforce To Remove Heavyweight Division, Keep Women’s MMA, Gilbert Melendez To Stay


Today ZUFFA, STRIKEFORCE and SHOWTIME officials took to a media conference call to announce the details of the new Showtime broadcast deal.

During the discussion and through fielding media questions it was revealed that once the conclusion of the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix is over the winner will face one more top-10 heavyweight, yet to be announced and then the division will be removed from the Strikeforce roster entirely.

Officials would not commit to the future of the divisions fighters when asked if they would be moved to the UFC once the weightclass is closed.

The promotion has stated that they will focus on the divisions that they have more depth of talent such as middleweight, welterweight and lightweight. They did note however, that they will continue to build all divisions, including the female categories going forward but they have no further interest in building up their heavyweights.

During the call UFC president specifically noted that he is keeping the women’s divisions intact due to the outcry from fans demanding that the females get the proper attention.

White stated, “The women’s division is popular and we are going to keep it.”

One of the hotter topics in recent Strikeforce business is the speculation of where the Strikeforce lightweight champion, Gilbert Melendez will fight after this weekend’s Masvidal title fight in San Diego. White also stated that if Gilbert Melendez wins this fight and defends his title he will take fight after fight under the Strikeforce banner and continue to defend his title and noted that “Gilbert is f*%king ecstatic about it.”

Officials did not want to give too many specifics away on the new deal, no term for the agreement was given, but in 2012 MMA fans can expect anywhere from 6-8 STRIKEFORCE bouts live on SHOWTIME.

Stay tuned to BJPENN.COM for the full Audio clip of this conference call for all the Strikeforce/Showtime update.

Click here for the latest STRIKEFORCE coverage provided by BJPENN.COM


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