But if it didn’t feel like a UFC event on television, behind the scenes, things were much different. The changes actually started at a smaller Strikeforce event, held eight days earlier, in Stockton, Calif., when several of the Strikeforce employees were brought into a room and told they were being let go. They were told they would have the opportunity, if they wanted, to apply for positions in UFC parent company Zuffa LLC. Many noted that while there was clearly uncertainty as soon as the purchase was announced, they were surprised the ax came down so quickly.
Friday’s weigh-ins, from an organizational perspective, felt like a World Extreme Cagefighting front-office reunion party (Zuffa merged WEC into the UFC after a final show in mid-December). Among those front and center were former WEC vice-president Peter Dropick, general manager Reed Harris, matchmaker Sean Shelby and P.R. head Dave Sholler.
It is no secret that Dropick is being groomed to help run the Strikeforce business going forward. It was expected that Shelby, who is currently the assistant matchmaker for UFC and in charge of the lighter weight divisions he ran at WEC, would oversee the Strikeforce matchmaking in some capacity.
Several Strikeforce employees axed with Zuffa acquisition