Dana White finally joins the StrikeForce/Showtime negotiations
LAS VEGAS -- Strikeforce isn't quite dead yet.
Following a recent shakeup at Showtime that saw former sports head Ken Hershman leave for HBO, it seems that there is a renewed hope that the premium cable network might be able to strike a deal with Strikeforce.
So far, there's been at least one change to the ongoing negotiations. While they had previously been handled by Zuffa co-owner Lorenzo Fertitta, White has taken the reigns in search of a new deal.
"I was in New York [Wednesday] and met with Showtime," White said following a UFC 137 press conference on the Brooklyn Bridge replica outside the New York New York Hotel. "That's why I was there. So yeah, I'm it now. I took over."
White said he was able to inject himself into the situation now that Hershman is gone. The two have had a notoriously rocky history over the years, with White pulling no punches over his thoughts on Hershman. Even now that the executive has moved on, White did the same, saying dealing with the channel has gotten a lot easier now that he's gone.
"Because he's an idiot, and the rest of the guys aren't," he said.
As of now though, there is still no deal. So for the time being, reports of other Strikeforce fighters -- Fabricio Werdum, for example -- defecting to the UFC will come to a close. The timeframe for a decision has been extended as the two sides attempt to keep the promotion alive past the first quarter of 2012. But at least there is a newfound sense of optimism involved.
"I had a great meeting with them," he said. "We'll see how it goes. I met with all of them, the whole crew. It went very well, and we'll see how it progresses."