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Luke Rockhold, Tim Kennedy upset with Strikeforce’s promotional push of title-fight

This weekend Strikeforce will crown a new welterweight champion and see middleweight title-holder Luke Rockhold put his gold up for grabs against well-rounded fan-favorite Tim Kennedy. Beyond that, the card also boasts Robbie Lawler-Lorenz Larkin, Roger Gracie-Keith Jardine, Justin Wilcox-Jorge Masvidal, as well as appearances from Pat Healy, Ryan Couture, and Jason High.

However, based on MMAJunkie’s account of a press conference this week promoting the card, it sounds like the show has been treated more like a local event rather than one being broadcast on Showtime and featuring some of the sport’s top competitors.

“Take a picture. There’s not a single goddamn reporter here,” said a heated Kennedy at the presser. “There’s four of you guys. This is two title fights for Strikeforce. It’s crystal clear that nobody gives a [expletive]. They don’t.”

“I knock Rockhold out on Saturday night? Changes nothing for me. Nothing in, like, what media publications are going to cover me, who talks about me, sponsors I’m going to get. Do you know how much money I didn’t make in sponsors for this fight because nobody cares about Strikeforce? It’s insane,” Kennedy continued.

“They’re struggling, man,” chimed in Rockhold in reference to the advertisement Strikeforce ran during Wednesday’s UFC on Fuel 4 broadcast. “A fighter/athlete/surfer? C’mon. How am I supposed to look against the Army Ranger/warrior/Green Beret? That’s what I hate about it.”

The disgruntled headliners are not the only Strikeforce fighters to express concern about how the company has handled business over the past year. Fortunately they will each have a chance to take out their frustrations on the other when the main card fires up Saturday night at 10:00 PM EST.


  • Lord Faust says:

    Didn’t he see that awesome ad on UFC on Fuel? Sure, it didn’t mention the date or time but… uhhh…. people know he’s fighting some guy named Kennedy eventually… OH! And he’s a surfer!

  • AlphaOmega says:

    You’d think they would have put a date/time since its just a few days after they ran the promo. I get what both of them are saying, especially Rockhold, how are the casual fans suppose to care about him winning when his three titles suck next to Kennedy’s.

  • Lord Faust says:

    I think I have done more to get the word out than Strikeforce. Proof.

  • AlphaOmega says:

    NIce Faust, I just took your cue and tweeted about it too..maybe the 2 cam girls and 2 porn starts that follow me will watch it..because all my other followers are those lame fake accts.

  • Lord Faust says:

    Yeah I don’t know how many real ones I have either.

  • Richard Stabone says:

    It continues to make no sense how Zuffa lets SF fly under the radar, dying a slow death. What’s the friggin point? Seems Zuffa is doing the bare minimum to meet contractual obligations & avoid a potential lawsuit… but beyond that? Well, Kennedy said it better than I could.

    I don’t know when Kennedy signed his last contract but there’s no way he could have envisioned things would be so damn lackluster, especially with Zuffa involved. So I hope they ride out the current contract with Showtime and then pull the damn plug on this operation sooner than later. These fighters should not be held hostage under a crap org like this. They’re burning thru their prime years (and fighters obviously have a relatively small career window), making pennies on the dollar with sponsors compared to if they were with the UFC. It sucks and I don’t blame Kennedy one bit for venting a little bit about it.

    As for the fight itself, I’ve been really looking forward to this matchup for a long time now. Under better circumstances I think this fight is easily marketable.

    Kennedy is an awesome dude, who bends over backwards to pitch in with marketing efforts & engage with the fans, with a very cool background of service to our country. He’s Brian Stann with a much better personality (from a marketing perspective; nothing against Stann personally). Should be an incredibly easy sell.

    And then with Rockhold, at the very least he’s the champion, with an appealing fighting style, with boyish good looks & a strong upper torso to match. Yeah it’d be nice if there was a dark villain to pit Kennedy against, but it’s not like Rockhold is the toughest sell. Pretty lazy marketing if there always needs to be a villain involved.

    So anyway, I believe Kennedy takes the belt from Luke, finishing him off in the later rounds with either GnP or a submission. Should be a great fight.

  • Lord Faust says:

    The apathy displayed by the entire Strikeforce operation — excluding the fighters — is one of the most cruel jokes in these guys’ athletic lives. Burning away a year or two is not an option in combat sports; these guys need to earn while they are young and also need to stay in fighting shape. The gym actively hurts the former, and does only so much for the latter.

  • AlphaOmega says:

    I still maintain that either Coker or Zuffa, or someone, needs to make the whole SF like a minor leagues, kinda like Challengers was. I kinda get the feeling that Coker doesn’t really care anymore, I mean he’s still saying that Cyborg will make it down to 135(?) whenever her, her manager, and a dr have all released statements saying that its unhealthy for her to try to cut more weight.

  • qat says:

    Didnt Dana try to get the reigns on the carriage that is Strikeforce but Showtime told him to take the backseat? Guess Dana pouted and just jumped out of it entirely.
    Sucks for the fighters that are still riding behind it, i hope they get some considerations from Zuffa for the losses they obviously do take.

  • Lord Faust says:

    Showtime seems to have told Dana to fuck off since he was ruining the atmosphere of contempt and apathy everyone has for SF.

    I still don’t get it… There’s no angle that makes any sense, outside of milking the Showtime deal for free money — at fighters’ expense.

  • AlphaOmega says:

    I thought the whole thing was also that Showtime basically didn’t tell Dana that they didn’t like his ideas, that they told some random little peon in the company who had to then find a way to relay the info to Dana, and all of this was right before Dana was on the verge of flying to the SF fights and almost missed the UFC fights.

  • Rece Rock says:


  • Rece Rock says:

    PS :
    Since you guys are talking about twitter…@ray_mercado

  • MMA-LOGIC says:

    Here we go again. Its not ZUFFAS fault, its SFs.
    Before the ZUFFA purchase SF was exploding and the promotion was starting to take ground from the UFC. It had a DREAM co pro, a M1 co pro etc, it had Fedor, Overeem, Diaz, Hendo, Kharitonov, Arlovski, Werdum etc and the marketing was obviously working. Now ZUFFA has bought it they have killed it. They dont promote it ON PURPOSE. Do you think that the place and date missing was a mistake? This is not Coker or Strikeforces lapse. It is the ZUFFA playing the game. They are doing all they need to do in order to meet their obligations. I would suggest that included a promotion but did not specify that the date and venue be part of that promotion.

  • qat says:

    Who said its not Zuffa’s fault? Calm down a bit.
    I think they had concrete plans with SF, but they didnt got to terms with Showtime, so now all is going to shit coz they seem overly resolute. I dont like Zuffas strategy of leaving scorched earth either. It is not the first time, they seem to act like spoiled brats often, which is just unprofessional.
    But as long as the best fighters will be in the UFC, and be paid accordingly, i can live with it for the time beeing. Ok Fedor is an unpleasant exception, but apart from that we have Diaz, the Reem, Henderson, Werdum, Bigfoot etc. in the UFC and i cant see fighters like Melendez not joining the UFC soon.
    So as far as im concerned the MMA-landscape is still much better than the boxing landscape.


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