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Strikeforce talent, then and now

Fedor Emelianenko, left, tries to hit Dan Henderson,

Fedor Emelianenko, left, tries to hit Dan Henderson, right, during their fight at the Sears Centre. (July 30, 2011) (Credit: AP )

A combination of anonymously sourced reports and some rumors point to Strikeforce promoting its final event on Jan. 12, 2012, in Oklahoma City.

If true (and it is widely believed that it is), it will mark the culmination of a slow (then quick) fall from No. 2 MMA promotion since being purchased by Zuffa, the parent company to UFC.

There are likely many factors that contributed to this point, some of which seem obvious and some we'll never know to their full extent.

For the purposes of this blog post, let's look at the eroding talent pool of the Strikeforce roster. First is the alphabetical list of Strikeforce's 22 top names (be it by fighting or marketing) at the time of purchase by Zuffa on March 12, 2011. Second is a look at how many of those 22 are still in Strikeforce. Third is the list of key losses, and fourth is the list of fighters who have come along in between, some of whom had their statuses elevated by things they did in the cage and some who moved up because those above them left.

STRIKEFORCE ON MARCH 12, 2011

Andrei Arlvoski
Josh Barnett
Gina Carano
Rafael "Feijao" Cavalcante
Daniel Cormier
Paul Daley
Nick Diaz
Fedor Emelianenko
Dan Henderson
King Mo Lawal
Jorge Masvidal
Gilbert Melendez
Gegard Mousasi
K.J. Noons
Alistair Overeem
Luke Rockhold
Brett Rogers
Cristiane "Cyborg" Santos
Antonio Silva
Ronaldo "Jacare" Souza
Josh Thomson
Fabricio Werdum

STRIKEFORCE ON NOV. 28, 2012

Josh Barnett
Rafael "Feijao" Cavalcante
Daniel Cormier
Jorge Masvidal
Gilbert Melendez
Gegard Mousasi
K.J. Noons
Luke Rockhold
Cristiane "Cyborg" Santos*
Ronaldo "Jacare" Souza
Josh Thomson

(* still serving drug suspension)

KEY LOSSES

Andrei Arlvoski
Gina Carano
Paul Daley
Nick Diaz
Fedor Emelianenko
Dan Henderson
King Mo Lawal
Alistair Overeem
Brett Rogers
Antonio Silva
Fabricio Werdum

KEY ADDITIONS/DEVELOPED FIGHTERS

Roger Gracie
Lorenz Larkin
Nate Marquardt
Ronda Rousey**
Tarec Saffiedine
Miesha Tate**
Tyron Woodley

(** Rousey signed a contract with the UFC in early November 2012, with Tate presumably to follow.)

Half of the 22 fighters on the first list didn't make it the second list. Five of those 11 fighters are now in the UFC, due in large part to Strikeforce folding its heavyweight division.

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