Mike Brown, Brett Rogers, Jose Aldo and Jake Shields are all within the coveted winner’s circle following the aftermath of a weekend stuffed with MMA action.
Saturday and Sunday night produced thrilling wins for a handful of men under two different promotional banners, yet the atmosphere set for each couldn’t be more different.
What we as MMA fans have here is a classic example of quality management and maturity (WEC) reigning supreme over a stiff 1-2 combo of cliches and inexperience (Strikeforce). This is by no means to say the latter is not swelling with potential, but rather a snapshot of the current situation.
WEC (World Extreme Cagefighting) is an organization under Zuffa ownership with a long history of producing exciting fight cards and near flawless event production. Last night’s event was proof positive that the WEC is such a huge draw for both live gate ticket sales and via Versus on television due to top-shelf scouting and match-making.
The comments across the Internet floating in from Twitter, message boards and blog sites confirmed during and after the action that WEC 41 was indeed ranking as one of the best overall MMA events seen by many in recent memory. Now with the expansion of the sport and rise of upstart promotions across the country while the UFC continues to host elite bouts, the web-wide reaction is a true testament to the WEC’s ever-evolving, successful methods.
Strikeforce is lead by CEO Scott Coker and has brass familiar with the fight game but the promotion suffers from various, critical flaws. As I’ll delve into with a separate piece, the announcing is successful only in leeching entertainment value.
The over-the-top schoolyard hoots and hollars of Shamrock combined with Ranallo’s imaginary vocabulary and Johnson’s ineptitude make for a fairly painful listening experience, but perhaps it is proper for the viewership they wish to capture. Granted, MMA is a sport in which emotions run high, however treating each match as an epic battle between fighters marketed as having comic-book style powers comes off as much too patronizing to warrant long term growth.
On a note of praise, Strikeforce has signed a fairly wide array of talent and in turn is showcasing headline-worthy performances. The promotion’s momentum can ramp up, yet only if production is polished and commentary is held to a much higher standard. In the end, the fans won with fights that will fuel buzz for weeks to come, and WEC reigns supreme over Strikeforce.