Before the mass manifestation of MMA in the United States and throughout the world, almost singularly brought about by Forrest Griffin and Stephan Bonnar wailing on each other for 3 rounds in the finale of the first Ultimate Fighter show, the UFC shared the global spotlight with an organization called Pride Fighting Championships.  A significant amount of internet web space has been swallowed up on MMA messageboards consisting of heated arguments and comparisons of the two organizations; when they were in their prime, many fans flaunted self-awarded allegiance to one organization or another, while some more reasonable fans categorized a set of criteria under both headings of "likes" and "dislikes" for each blockbuster promotion. Segueing from fond nostalgia to the present, the UFC purchased the entire Pride FC organization in October of 2007, which equates to one player making a move to take ownership of Boardwalk and Park Place in the game Monopoly.  This literally changed the face of global MMA- some think for the worse, some the better.  Avoiding the insertion of personal opinion, I think none can deny the fact that it eliminated the leisure of choice, as "ultimate fighting" became the biggest and brightest star for MMA in the states by light years.  A great wall was formed between American MMA and Japanese MMA, which were always firmly isolated, but the fans could transcend that gap by floating back and forth between the Pride and UFC events.  Although the DREAM and Sengoku promotions were eventually formed in Japan, the Pride talent had been scattered amuck... and it just wasn't the same. Scott Coker of Strikeforce has made an announcement that may represent Monopoly players 2,3 and 4 bonding together to join forces and unite against player 1, who is laughing maniacally while counting the heaps of money rolling into "The Octagon" from his previous power-purchase. Speaking to MMAWeekly, Coker revealed that Strikeforce, who recently contracted the best fighter in the world (Fedor Emelianenko) by banding with M-1 Global, will also be partnering with the Japanese DREAM organization with the ability to interchange fighters.  In plain terms:  this puts Strikeforce, M-1 Global, and DREAM on the same cooperative team, with the shared interest of pooling their fighters together to make the best events possible.  A quote from Mr. Coker:
“If we want to get Japanese fighters, we would work exclusively with Dream, and Dream would work exclusively with us, and M-1 as well.  M-1 will be part of this too.”
Instead of a handful of infant and besprinkled organizations struggling to keep their heads above water individually in the established ocean owned by the UFC (see:  Affliction), the outsiders have joined forces to gather up the best group of talent available outside of the octagon, with the given intention of attracting more.  The two unique keys they hold, which is the ability and willingness to co-promote with each other on the worldwide stage, and the planet's best and most sought-after fighter in Fedor Emelianeko, are anomalies indeed, and may provide the extra thrust that stand-a-lone promotions lacked in the past.


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