Michael Farrow's sports blog

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…on Strikeforce signing Jacare

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Jacare is a good fighter but is he the right fighter for Strikeforce

Strikeforce have managed to get Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza to put pen to paper.  It’s heartening to see them do so.  He’s a good fighter, still evolving and could well be an asset to the organisation.  However, I can’t help but think they could have done better by hiring a decent heavyweight or lightweight.  They seem to sign fighters in a haphazard way, rather than concentrating on where they actually need to strengthen.  They sign good fighters, rather than the right fighters for their organisation.

Back when EliteXC were around, some pundits bought into Gary Shaw’s bullshit of “developing fighters, not a brandname” but missed the virtue of developing weight classes.  Strikeforce seem to have fallen into a similar trap. EliteXC purchased Icon Sport, who had Mayhem Miller, Frank Trigg, Niko Vitale and Robbie Lawler and yet they did not augment the division and develop it suitably.  If you get a lot of good fighters in one weight class, you can generate a lot of exciting fights, as Icon had. Between 2003 and 2005, the UFC stripped it down to light heavyweight and welterweight divisions, with the heavyweight division as window dressing.  If you can get two or three decent and competitive weight classes, you are in business.

Right now, there are areas where Zuffa are strong and Zuffa are weak.  By my estimates and looking at different rankings, I think that out of the top 30 in each respective weight class, the UFC has 13 heavyweights, 22 light heavyweights, 19 middleweights, 27 welterweights (with just Shields, Thompson and Hieron outside the UFC – 14 of the top 15 by my estimation), 10 – 20 lightweights (depending on how biased you are against the UFC lightweight division) and around 15 each in both featherweight and bantamweight, though so few of those fighters are under exclusive contract they could sign anyone at any time.

Therefore, if they are trying to land some of the best in the world, they need to be concentrating on the WEC’s weight classes, featherweight and bantamweight, and the weakest UFC classes, heavyweight and lightweight.  Strikeforce has some interesting lightweights and thus they could build from there with a handful of decent independent and Japanese signings.  There is a large amount of heavyweight talent kicking around too.  Very few of the WEC’s fighters are under contract and it’d be easy to sign decent fighters in those weight classes.   So whilst signing Jacare is interesting and somewhat of a coup, it’s not a signing that it going to instantly shake things up in the MMA world.

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Written by Michael Farrow

August 7, 2009 at 10:54 am

Posted in MMA

Tagged with , ,

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