The Ship Be Sinking

Mouth Almighty

The Saturday Night Wars

I take no credit for this analysis, buuuuut….

According to Dave Meltzer at the Observer (via his podcast, so no link) the authentic backstory to the James Toney signing is nothing more than that Strikeforce had nearly gotten Toney signed up for April 17th to debut in the cage, and so an offer was made to ankle that fight from happening. The idea is apparently that the short-term hit of paying Toney real money is worth it for the long-term gain of strangling Strikeforce on CBS in the cradle and removing a potential competitor over the long haul. Toney’s contract notably includes an out for him to continue boxing concurrently with his MMA obligations, which does indeed seem to indicate a tell that the point of signing Toney was more to sign Toney and lock him up than any particular promotional project.

I would add (and this is my speculation here, not anything Meltzer indicated) that when you throw in the reality that the Toney signing may have some actual benefits in and of itself other than the promotional wars aspect, plus Dana White’s noted long-time fandom of boxing and Toney’s legitimately hall of fame caliber status in that sport, signing him probably became a very easy call. That said… if 6-8 months go by and Toney isn’t ever scheduled for a fight, we may look back on this deal as a glorified do-not-compete agreement. Which would be a shame, really; I hate to say it, but more and more I’m talking myself into being interested in this fuckery. Either way, it’s fair to say that the promotion wars have risen to a new pitch in the last week or so with the uncertain Fedor situation, the skirmish over Toney and a crucial CBS date coming up for Strikeforce in a month and a half. The ultimate outcome of this is going to be crucial to the future of the sport, and a lot may get decided in the next 3-6 months once ratings come in and contracts are settled..

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March 4, 2010 - Posted by | Boxing, MMA

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