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1/9/13 8:21 AM
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HULKSMASH
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Franks braces.. Phone Post
1/9/13 9:02 AM
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Olive Garden Table For One
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How can I forget Lawlor-Melvin Phone Post
1/9/13 9:33 AM
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gooddoc
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Dirk Bevlin -
gooddoc - When I think of strikeforce The first thing that comes into my mind is Tito's stuttering and very awkward announcing followed by Kimbo slice getting smashed by the Seth. Phone Post
Wasn't that EliteXC? Though, I think they were finally purchased by Strikeforce. Phone Post
Shit I guess you're right. Ok then I will remember the Diaz fights. Phone Post
1/9/13 9:46 AM
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show no mercy
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ill remember frank shamrock, cung le, nick diaz, and gilbert melendez the most.

also, the shows were all great. how many times did they have a show and then on here it was like holy shit strikeforce brings it.

they were an awesome regional promotion and stepped it up big time and delivered on the large scale.

1/9/13 9:55 AM
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ender852
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I had second row tickets to Fedor vs Hendo. I won't forget strikeforce, it was the first big mma show I went to, only been to local ammy shows prior. Phone Post
1/9/13 10:41 AM
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n1ck_bAk3d_d1aZ
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I remember Melvin Manhoef tearing shit up in Japan and saw that he was fighting in the states,in a org. called strikeforce. The fight went as i expected.......untill Lawlor throw that hail-maker and laid Melvin out, truely a 'h0ly-shit moment'.

Then the main-event, Diaz boxing shit up. Plus the Diaz-Daley fight, fucking epic. To this day anybody new to mma i show them the Diaz-Gomi, Diaz-Daley fights. No lie, Diaz was strikeforce for a while so its no wonder why Dana wanted Nick so bad.

I really did look forward to the showtime events. the hw grad-prix, the CBS brawl.
The only time i ever saw Fedor was on dvd but i was a fan and knew how bad ass he was. So i was watching Fedor live for the 1st time on sho-time..........And well, evryone knows what happen.

Some truely epic mma moments.
1/9/13 10:52 AM
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flip_guard
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I would remember it most as an MMA promotion that could have been greater and could still be around if not with the dealings with Russians and their co-promotion. They killed Strikeforce. Zuffa didn't kill Strikeforce, it was already dead and UFC wasn't there to rescue them. It was a business deal where both sides could benefit but an eventual closing of the promotion was just a matter of time and tying up loose ends. Phone Post
1/9/13 10:52 AM
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Mok The Ookla
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Seemed like every event had a memorable moment until the time zuffa bought them out.

They will forever be missed, in my eyes at least. Phone Post
1/9/13 11:09 AM
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JDV
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Lots of great fights.
Exposing Fedor as beatable.
Frustration from being an obstacle to dream matchups against UFC fighters.
1/9/13 11:26 AM
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Smellde Gluve
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1/9/13 2:11 PM
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caposa
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Edited: 01/10/13 2:37 PM
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1/9/13 3:10 PM
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Ligeia420
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Damn, that pretty much sums it up, Caposa!

Nice post, nice pics.
1/9/13 3:29 PM
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per
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I will remember Strikeforce as a group of good, sensible people.

Kind of like the guy who runs his own little company, always keeping his head straight, his economy in order, not getting carried away. He does that for a few years and then in order to grow he has to take a couple of chances, find some investors, try some stuff. You can stroll safely along forever but once you try to make a leap, you just may stumble. Strikeforce stumbled.

The WFA and Affliction went straight into the faces of the UFC and tried to battle them dollar-for-dollar, they could do it for one or two events. Strikeforce did their own thing, always with a cool head, building their product over many years. They eventually tried to take the next step with Fedor and all that, trying to become a valuable part of Showtime's schedule, maybe become PPV material. They did it the right way I think. Sometimes even the most careful people have to gamble. Sometimes it just does not work out....




1/10/13 11:30 AM
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epwar
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10 Memorable Strikeforce Moments via Sherdog.

Part 1:
After a nearly seven-year existence, Strikeforce will wrap up its mixed martial arts run with Strikeforce "Marquardt vs. Saffiedine" on Saturday at the Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City.

From a regional promotion in San Jose, Calif., to a national brand with CBS and Showtime deals, it was quite the ride for Scott Coker's brainchild. While the company had no shortage of highs and lows, these moments stand out as the most memorable in Strikeforce's history:

10. Playboy Mansion

September 29, 2007 | Los Angeles

When MMA hit the Playboy Mansion, it made for a unique scene. Fighters prepared in makeshift tents on the tennis courts. A red carpet and photographers greeted arrived guests. MMA luminaries gathered near the grotto in about equal number to fans, and a loud and mischievous peacock called out by the cage. It was not exactly the usual setting for the sport.

That was precisely the idea when Strikeforce decided to hold a card at the mansion. Strikeforce often thought outside the box in expanding the promotion, and the Playboy Mansion was a unique gamble. The idea was that while there would not be that many fans in attendance, a high admission price would make up the difference. It is something boxing promoters have attempted from time to time. The returns from the first show were promising enough that Strikeforce tried again the next year, but that would be the final Strikeforce event at the Playboy Mansion.

9. Battle of Legends

July 30, 2011 | Hoffman Estates, Ill.

The early days of Strikeforce were built around Bay Area fighters with local ties and reputations. As the promotion grew and expanded, it began to take on competitors with greater and greater international fame. That trend culminated in suburban Chicago in July 2011 with a super fight between two of MMA's all-time legends: Fedor Emelianenko and Dan Henderson.

A matchup between two icons like Emelianenko and Henderson would usually take place on pay-per-view, but Strikeforce put the bout on Showtime -- a rare premium TV slot for such a high-profile contest. It was an unusual circumstance. Strikeforce was now owned by UFC parent company Zuffa, but both fighters had elected to sign with Strikeforce over the Ultimate Fighting Championship prior to that purchase. Strikeforce elected to match up the two Pride Fighting Championships veterans in their final bouts for the organization.

The fight did not last long, and it did not lack for excitement. The two heavy-handed legends slugged it out, with each man landing big blows. When Henderson caught Emelianenko with a sneaky uppercut under the arm, it separated the Russian from his senses and brought an end to their bout. For Henderson, it was another impressive name to put on his resume. For Emelianenko, it was another step back from his former perch as the top fighter in the sport. For MMA fans, it was a rare treat outside the more familiar UFC Octagon or Pride ring.

8. Go to Sleep

June 22, 2007 | San Jose, Calif.

After leaving the UFC in 1999, Frank Shamrock became selective and careful about his choice of opponents. Specifically, Shamrock sought out marketable opponents that he thought would generate maximum interest. In 2007, he targeted a perfect foe: the charismatic "New York Bad Ass" Phil Baroni. Baroni was not a championship-level fighter, but he carried himself like a star. After a war of words between the two fighters, they squared off in the main event of a joint pay-per-view card promoted by Strikeforce and EliteXC.

With the right opponent arranged, Shamrock delivered quite the show. He was going to mix in showmanship in addition to the beating he put on Baroni. In one of the most memorable moments in a Strikeforce fight, Shamrock called his own shot. In the first round, he put his hands up next to his head and then pointed at Baroni. The unmistakable connotation was that he was going to put Baroni to sleep. Just seconds later, Shamrock dropped Baroni with a big punch and nearly finished him with punches on the ground. Then in the second round, he choked Baroni unconscious.

The sequence of events was so memorable that Mickey Rourke used the same gesture in his Oscar-nominated performance in "The Wrestler." Professional wrestler CM Punk made it a regular part of his matches, as well. It was arguably the high point of Shamrock's post-UFC career. He picked a fight, sold it, entertained and won.

7. Brawl on CBS

April 17, 2010 | Nashville, Tenn.

While other Strikeforce moments are remembered more positively, the ignominious low point for the promotion almost certainly occurred in Nashville, Tenn., in the spring of 2010. The show itself was unsuccessful enough. All three title fights went to a decision and, collectively, did not deliver a lot of excitement. However, things went from bad to worse at the end of the evening when Jake Shields was interviewed after his victory over Henderson.

As Shields was being interviewed, Jason Miller came into the cage to press for a rematch with the then-middleweight champion. Miller was undoubtedly trying to sell a potential future fight on a major stage. Shields and the rest of his Cesar Gracie Fight Team entourage did not see it that way. They took it as a sign of severe disrespect and an ugly brawl quickly broke out, with the Diaz Brothers putting the boots to Miller on national television.

It was certainly a memorable scene watching MMA fighters acting like thugs in front of millions at home. Unfortunately for Strikeforce, it had dire consequences. CBS never ran another MMA show, costing Strikeforce its most powerful television partner. Without CBS, highly paid fighters like Emelianenko and Henderson could not justify their contracts. Strikeforce began hemorrhaging money, and, eventually, the company was sold.

Many organizations quietly and slowly march towards their own demise. For Strikeforce, the moment when things fell apart is easily pinpointed and hard to forget.

6. Herschel

January 30, 2010 | Sunrise, Fla.

Herschel Walker made his MMA debut in 2010.

From his 1982 Heisman Trophy and his Olympic bobsled run to his involvement in the most famous and league-altering trade in NFL history, Herschel Walker led a fascinating and varied athletic career. Given that past, it was not that surprising when he announced that, at age 48, he wanted to make his MMA debut.

Strikeforce made Walker's dream happen, and it led to one of the more uplifting moments in the promotion's history. Walker trained hard with the American Kickboxing Academy camp for three months and showed up in phenomenal shape for his first Strikeforce fight in Florida. Walker defeated Greg Nagy handily and donated his entire fight purse to charity.

Walker's success was a testament to the value of hard work and a message to MMA fans that they, too, can pursue improbable dreams.

While the UFC's domination of the MMA landscape is not without substantial positives, one of the unfortunate byproducts of that reality is that stories like Walker's will become increasingly uncommon. Unlike Strikeforce, Pride or Dream, the UFC is built around elite MMA fighters and rarely ever deals in novelties. The occasional involvement in MMA of a Walker or a Shaquille O'Neal would be good for the sport, but there are precious few well-paying platforms left that are willing to take them on. Sadly, it is unlikely we will see many stories like this going forward.
1/10/13 11:32 AM
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epwar
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Part 2:
5. Comeback for the Ages

December 19, 2009 | San Jose, Calif.

In late 2009, it would have seemed improbable that the best comeback ever involving Scott Smith was still yet to come. Smith's career was built on impressive comebacks, from his delivering split-second knockout against Pete Sell while on the verge of being finished to a remarkable come-from-behind victory over Benji Radach. Still, few comebacks in MMA history can match the one Smith authored at Strikeforce "Evolution."

Cung Le was one of Strikeforce's biggest stars at the time. He was coming off the most impressive win of his MMA career against Frank Shamrock and was undefeated in MMA. Against Smith, he showed why. Punishing Smith with a brutal array of strikes for the better part of three rounds, Le looked to be on a completely different level than his opponent. Through two rounds, Le out-landed Smith 76 to eight. He even out-landed Smith in the final and decisive round. Unfortunately for Le, it only took one punch for the bout to change. Smith landed a left that dropped Le to the canvas. He followed with strikes on the ground, and Le was done. It was a stunning reversal of fate.

Le would avenge his loss to Smith easily in a rematch, but the man they call "Hands of Stone" can always remember his most improbable of comebacks. Fans, too, remember that event fondly, as an exciting fight card also featured the classic second bout in the Gilbert Melendez-Josh Thomson trilogy.

4. San Jose Showdown

March 29, 2008 | San Jose, Calif.

Strikeforce was built on the backs of two key fighters: Shamrock and Le. Like Chris Mullin and Rick Barry represented the Golden State Warriors decades earlier, Shamrock and Le were the primary representatives of Bay Area MMA and Strikeforce.

Shamrock was well known locally for his success in the UFC, while Le was Scott Coker's top sanshou attraction well before Strikeforce came into existence as an MMA entity. Shamrock and Le had trained together in their native San Jose, Calif., but never fought. It was the California city's clearest "dream" fight, and in 2008, it finally came to pass.

In front of a raucous, divided crowd that leaned a little bit more towards Le, San Jose finally got its fight. The two aging legends stood and traded for 15 minutes before Le broke his rival's arm with a kick and Shamrock could no longer continue. Le had city bragging rights once and for all.

3. Women Make History

August 15, 2009 | San Jose, Calif.

Women's MMA had its doubters from the moment EliteXC and Strikeforce began featuring female fights. The skeptics argued that women could not capture MMA fans' attention like men. In August of 2009, they were proven wrong. Gina Carano and Cristiane Santos squared off in the biggest women's fight in MMA history. Santos won the exciting one-round bout, which proved to be one of the biggest financial successes in Strikeforce history.

The clash between Carano and "Cyborg" was a perfect contrast in and personality. The soft-spoken Carano was the popular girl next door, while the muscular Santos carried the intimidating name and was more akin to the female Wanderlei Silva. That dynamic packed in nearly 14,000 fans in San Jose and set a then-record viewership for MMA on Showtime.

As Ronda Rousey gets her opportunity to main event for the Ultimate Fighting Championship at UFC 157, she owes a debt of gratitude to Carano and Santos.

They proved the viability and potential mass appeal of female fighting. Rousey has not yet captured the box office or ratings appeal of Carano, but many are betting she will. She might not have had the chance if it were not for Carano-"Cyborg."

2. Fedor Finally Loses

June 26, 2010 | San Jose, Calif.

Nothing lasts forever. Even as Fedor Emelianenko dominated heavyweight MMA for years on end, it was inevitable his run would eventually come to a close. It just so happened that the historic end would come in a Strikeforce cage.

When Emelianenko stepped into the cage to fight Fabricio Werdum in the summer of 2010, he had not lost in nearly a decade; many questioned the legitimacy of his only loss to Tsuyoshi Kohsaka in the first place. The stoic Russian had shown vulnerability against the likes of Kazuyuki Fujita and Mark Hunt, but many had to see Emelianenko defeated decisively in order to believe it could happen.

Emelianenko, a competitor whose career was marked by quiet humility, was done in by a fighter's overconfidence. Thinking he had Werdum in trouble from a punch, he recklessly dove into the jiu-jitsu star's guard and began pounding away wildly. It was a formula he had used successfully against Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, but he found himself quickly in trouble against Werdum. The two-time Abu Dhabi Combat Club Submission Wrestling World Championships gold medalist locked up a triangle choke and applied an armbar as Emelianenko tried to escape. The Russian was forced to tap, and the reign of "The Last Emperor" was over.

1. Unlikely Birth

March 10, 2006 | San Jose, Calif.

It is easy to forget looking back at Strikeforce's many successes how improbable that rise was in the first place. This was a promotion without television. It had no MMA history. The MMA media was not what it would eventually become. Yet following very savvy local promotion built on a personal grudge between Shamrock and Cesar Gracie, Strikeforce drew a sellout crowd of 18,265 at the HP Pavilion and turned away thousands more. Strikeforce overnight became a phenomenon in its hometown of San Jose.

Given its boxing history, Las Vegas was a natural MMA hotbed. San Jose was almost an accidental one, built on timing and a preponderance of available, high-quality fighters who trained in the area. Most important to that rise were promoter Scott Coker and main event fighter Shamrock.

Coker knew how to succeed in San Jose, with years of experience promoting kickboxing in the area. He even brought in one of his top kickboxing attractions in Le.

Shamrock, meanwhile, appealed to MMA fans who knew his legacy as one of the top fighters in the history of the sport. Shamrock could also sell a fight with his trash talking and did so time and time again.

Strikeforce's first show was a harbinger of big things to come. The card was littered with future stars, from Melendez, Le and Thomson to Nate Diaz, Clay Guida and Krzysztof Soszynski. Shamrock's quick knockout of Gracie set up a series of future major fights for the former UFC champion. The city of San Jose was ready, and Strikeforce was on its way.
1/10/13 1:03 PM
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D241
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He looks beat up, but he looks far from beaten. I still see determination in his eyes. No doubt, just determination. Damn I wonder what that 3rd round would've looked like.

 

Caposa, seriously, thank you. This was a wonderful thread. Sometimes you get 5-7 solid topics a week on here. This thread however, stands above the normal awesome thread. It brought out emotion, nostalgia. The comments and pictures and shared memories really remind us that SF was something special. I'm getting sad it's over, but excited for the finale. SF final show will do it big. It must, it's the only way.

 

Voted up again Caposa, and if this thread is up in another 24hrs, voted up again.

1/10/13 1:13 PM
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UGCTT_FryedTakayama
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Edited: 01/10/13 1:13 PM
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^Determination in his eye for sure! I was there and remember being pretty pissed when they stopped it between rounds. Left everyone watching with that 'what if' feeling.

1/10/13 1:21 PM
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mmavixen
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UGCTT_FryedTakayama -
caposa -

When I think of Strikeforce I think of:

-Gilbert Melendez making a name for himself, losing the title, and then finally getting his revenge in one of the best fights of 2009

-Cung Le's path of destruction and then proving the doubters wrong against Frank Shamrock

-As previously mentioned, Frank Shamrock carrying the promotion on his back at times. Acting as a commentator, co-creator, and most importantly, fighter.

-When they acquired Elite XC's assets and became the most viable #2 promotion in MMA we had seen in a long time.

-Nick Diaz continuing his run and reasserting himself as one of the most exciting fighters in MMA

-The Brawl in Nashville

-Signing Fedor. Fedor/Rogers on CBS. The Werdum fight. Bigfoot. Hendo. Amazing fights

-The beginning of the Heavyweight GP and the buzz surrounding it. I attended the opening round in NJ in person and it was insane.

-The emergence of Ronda Rousey

-So many great fights and finishes

 

Gonna be a sad day, but the fighters deserve this move to the UFC. SF has always delivered and I'm expecting nothing different come Saturday night.

Well said. VTFU! Phone Post
Yeah that's a great summary.

I will remember it as an excellent promotion that provided some of the best moments in mma of the last 4-5 years.

I'll miss SF dearly. Phone Post
1/10/13 1:54 PM
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Dougie
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I will watch the few event dvds I got from them. I wish they would have produced more.

1/10/13 4:11 PM
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simonpe
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Main cards filled with mismatches but often with a good main event Phone Post
1/10/13 4:21 PM
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chupecabre
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Whats a Strike Force?
1/10/13 4:44 PM
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rockwell
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Another good promotion ruined by zuffa in their quest to monopolise MMA. Phone Post
1/10/13 5:24 PM
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caposa
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Part 1 of a 2 part series from Dave Meltzer

http://www.mmafighting.com/2013/1/10/3859420/after-grand-opening-strikeforce-will-turn-out-the-lights-saturday

1/10/13 5:29 PM
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AbbeyRoadMe
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As tough as it is, I try to distinguish pre-Zuffa Strikeforce from the last year or so. Strikeforce provided some really great fights and memorable moments. What I always liked best was how different it felt from the UFC. The events moved quickly, fighters seemed really aggressive, and many fights had a real sense of recklessness. Yes part of that was due to mismatching, and at times it felt like the production was almost amateurish, but it was kind of refreshing in contrast to the tightly run juggernaut that is the UFC.

My favorite memory was probably Fedor knocking out Rogers. On the other side of that, I remember how bummed I was and the level of emotion here on the UG when Fedor was beaten by Bigfoot. It's time to end Strikeforce, but I'll miss it somewhat. Phone Post
1/10/13 5:48 PM
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Doc T
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crossfire - These things happen in MMA... Phone Post
This. Phone Post

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