Dave Meltzer said recently that there is a deal between Zuffa and Showtime that prohibits certain Strikeforce fighters from moving to the UFC, even when their contract expires. The deal was allegedly hatched by Showtime after losing lucrative stars like Nick Diaz, Dan Henderson, and Alistair Overeem to the UFC, which is broadcast on Fox.
"They made this list of guys and they said 'these are our guys' and, even if their contract expires, they can't move to UFC," explained Meltzer. "That's part of their deal with keeping this alive. So these guys are stuck."
"(Gil Melendez) couldn't go to UFC. He could go to Bellator if he wanted to, but he couldn't go to the UFC.
"There's a list of guys, not everyone on Showtime is on the list, but Ronda Rousey is on the list, Gilbert Melendez is on the list, Luke Rockhold is on the list...
"It's for as long as Showtime broadcasts MMA (Meltzer later said that it is as long as Showtime broadcasts UFC)."
"...they're Showtime fighters for life. Or they could leave the Zuffa organization."
"They can't (challenge it in court) because it's a contract the UFC has, it's not a fighter deal. I've had the whole thing explained to me by one of the fighters on the list.
"Zuffa isn't going to do it to be in breach of contract. The contract is between Zuffa and Showtime that this list of fighters are Showtime fighters and if they're in the Zuffa organization they will fight on Showtime."
Meltzer later clarified Ronda Rousey's alleged situation.
"As long as Showtime and Zuffa have a contract to broadcast events, Rousey can only fight on a UFC show if Showtime allows her to do so," clarfied Meltzer. "She's not banned, but Showtime has to make the decision. That's why I recommended Showtime should allow her to fight on the December UFC show.
"From what I'm told "the list" does exist but Rousey might not be a member of that list to the same restrictive degree."
Meltzer later offered further clarification of his words on the f4wonline.com message boards (subscription).
"I said as long as Zuffa and Showtime have a deal, they can't fight on a UFC show unless Showtime gives the okay. It's in the Zuffa/Showtime contract.
"I was told by one of the fighters who got it straight from Stephen Espinosa that certain guys are Showtime fighters as long as the Zuffa/Showtime contract is in effect. The fighter was a main guy on a list agreed to be Showtime and Zuffa when the new deal went down and the agreement was all fighters on the list are Showtime fighters as long as they are under contract to Zuffa and as long as Showtime airs Strikeforce.
"Zuffa and Showtime can sign a new contract that changes the stips between Zuffa and Showtime now or when this deal expires, but he was told he can't transfer to UFC as long as the current deal is in place and could not fight on a UFC card unless Showtime gives the okay."
"The fighter was told by Espinosa that in specifics because they insisted on the deal after what happened with Dan Henderson where his Strikeforce contract expired and they signed him to a new deal but brought him to UFC at a time when nobody knew the future of Strikeforce. This stip was insisted on by Showtime so something like that couldn't happen with their however many exclusive stars."
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The UG's own CindyO went directly to UFC President Dana White for a response.
Member Since: 2/10/06
I asked DW:
"Meltzer is claiming you guys signed an agreement with Showtime that states Zuffa/UFC cannot have (specifically mentioned) Ronda, Luke or Gil on your roster as long as Showtime promotes MMA, even beyond their contract period w/Strikeforce). He also said that even if Strikeforce folds, those 3 still cannot come to the UFC (but they can go to Belator or another competitor- just never UFC as long as Showtime promotes MMA). Is this true?"
"idk wtf melzers problem is! Has this guy lost his mind? That is absolutely not true!"
Eventually, White himself came on the UG, and addressed the matter directly.
Member Since: 1/1/01
Dave has lost his mind!! Now he is just making shit up.
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