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Showtime Sports Boss Denies Existence of List of Strikeforce Fighters Blocked From UFC

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lohmann

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Showtime Sports president Stephen Espinoza on Monday denied the existence of a list of Strikeforce fighters that are banned from signing with the UFC during the lifetime of the Strikeforce-Showtime deal.

Over the weekend, veteran MMA journalist Dave Meltzer reported that Showtime and Strikeforce and UFC parent company Zuffa had agreed to a list of fighters who could not cross promotional boundaries from Strikeforce to the UFC, even if their contracts expired, making them free agents. According to him, fighters including Gilbert Melendez, Luke Rockhold and Ronda Rousey were on the list.

On Monday's edition of The MMA Hour, Espinoza said the report was erroneous.

Espinoza said that because Showtime isn't an MMA promoter, they have no existing deals with fighters that can limit their movement. What they do have is a contract with Zuffa that allows them to broadcast the talent pool of Strikeforce-contracted talent.

"That roster of talent at the point we entered into the contract is attached to our contract informationally," he said. "But all this stuff about controlling people when they’re free agents and things like that, that’s not true."

Espinoza did acknowledge that the UFC could not bring Melendez or any other fighter over from Strikeforce if that fighter had existing fights on his current Strikeforce deal.

"Putting it in context, that’s the case for all other MMA promotions, that's the case for all other professional sports," he said. "If you're under contract in MLS you can't go sign in the European league. If you're under contract in the NBA, you cant go sign in another league while you're under contract with the NBA. It's the same thing. While you're under contract to Strikeforce, you can't go sign a contract with another organization."

link to article and interview

Last edited 7/16/12 9:22PM server time by lohmann
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Post #1   7/16/12 9:21:14PM   

Bustamante-Aoki

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"Espinoza did acknowledge that the UFC could not bring Melendez or any other fighter over from Strikeforce if that fighter had existing fights on his current Strikeforce deal"

Maybe they're isn't a physical list marked "fighters blocked from the UFC". But if you put all the strikeforce fighters name on a list then it would exist. So theoretically there is a list, he's just splitting hairs

Post #2   7/16/12 9:54:20PM   

Twenty20Dollars

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I never argued that guys could come over from SF when they still had fights left on their contract. I know they can't sign with two organizations with still being with one.

I'm talking about when their contracts with SF are up and they filled their fight requirements.

It was made to seem if SF fighters had finished their contract that they still couldn't sign with the UFC if Showtime and SF still had a deal to broadcast MMA. Or they could go to Bellator.

How many fights do some of these guys have left on their contracts?


So to recap, fighters under Strikeforce contract won't be coming over to the UFC anytime soon, but once their existing deals are up and they become free agents, they can entertain a move from Strikeforce's hexagon to the UFC's octagon with impunity.


Well, yeah I pretty much knew that. But the other report was making it seem like they blocked from the UFC when they are free-agents. They said it isn't true in the article.

Last edited 7/16/12 10:46PM server time by twenty20dollars
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Post #3   7/16/12 10:42:10PM   

meier

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All the ufc problems would be fixed if they bring in zuluzinho! PLAIN AS DAY!

Last edited 7/16/12 11:23PM server time by meier
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Post #4   7/16/12 11:22:02PM   

Twenty20Dollars

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Gilbert signed a multi-year contract with SF on Feb 7th, 2011.

Then Zuffa aquicred SF and then Gil was thinking about how to get out of the contract and get to the UFC. BUT, he couldn't b/c he had signed a multi-year deal with SF.

"Dana White said he’s got Strikeforce fighters sold on the organization, including Gilbert Melendez. White claims the lightweight champ is happy to be there and isn’t going anywhere anytime soon."

That is on SF's renewal with Showtime. Oh yeah, I'm sure Gil is happy and of course he is not going anywhere, he signed the damn contract so he has to fulfill that.

Here's an article from Dec 18, 2011. Melendez and Rockhold Foregoing UFC was Part of Strikeforce’s Deal with Showtime

From the article ------“That was just a situation of the Showtime agreement,” Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker revealed following Melendez’s successful title defense on Saturday night in San Diego. “That was part of the deal, that these fighters (Melendez and middleweight champion Luke Rockhold) would stay.

“UFC feels that they have enough challengers in their divisions now. We’re going to keep building our league and keep plugging in new fighters that aren’t fighting for the UFC into Strikeforce. There’s plenty of fighters out there and we’re gonna keep building them.”

---------------------------

That kind of seems like a list to me. Now, however, I'm sure at the time that Zuffa had bought SF, Rockhold and Melendez were under contract with SF.

And then when SF and Showtime are working on a renewal, Showtime comes in and says you can take the rest of these champions, by like however the UFC would do. Maybe terminating the contracts of those two from SF and then signing them to UFC deals.

Yes, the fighters were kind of blocked in a sense, but they were under contract with SF and hadn't jumped to the UFC before this renewal started to happen, unlike the other's who had left, Diaz, Hendo.

The other part being, Showtime isn't blocking these guys when they become free-agents because they're contracts are up.

Like in the article from today or yesterday saying that it blocks them entirely from the UFC when there is a deal between SF/Showtime. Or blocks them entirely from UFC as long as Showtime broadcasts any type of MMA.

He says someone on the list told him, but doesn't name the person.

Last edited 7/17/12 12:25AM server time by twenty20dollars
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Post #5   7/17/12 12:08:46AM   

Bustamante-Aoki

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"The other part being, Showtime isn't blocking these guys when they become free-agents because they're contracts are up.

Like in the article from today or yesterday saying that it blocks them entirely from the UFC when there is a deal between SF/Showtime. Or blocks them entirely from UFC as long as Showtime broadcasts any type of MMA"

Well, they can't own fighters. Or can they?

I'm pretty sure Strikeforce has champions clauses in their contracts also, so Gil, Luke, Nate, etc. are trapped until they lose.

Cormier and Barnett can come to the UFC still cause Strikeforce's getting rid of the HW division all together. If Dana can forgive Josh that is.

Edit: There's probably a waiting period of a year or two before they can sign with the UFC. as a protection. Thats just a guess based on how UFC worked when the Couture was trying to fight Fedor.

Last edited 7/17/12 11:44PM server time by bustamante-AOKI
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Post #6   7/17/12 11:42:03PM