Former Strikeforce Exec Mike Afromowitz Talks Strikeforce Downfall
By Chris Howie
MMANEWS.COM Staff Writer
Former Strikeforce Executive Mike Afromowitz was a guest on Sherdog Radio_s "Beatdown" program this week and discussed all things Strikeforce including how things changed from the time the company was purchased by Zuffa and when he lost his job as well as where he sees the company going and why he wants to see it "just shut down":
Jack Encarnacao: You were one of the front office Strikeforce people who weren’t retained in the sale. Tell us a little bit about how that all went down.
Afromowitz: In the end, I’m not going to lie, it was disappointing. Not to toot my own horn, but, really, I was one of the guys that helped build Strikeforce. There were only, like, four of us to start with when we started out, and even when we were at our peak, there was only about 12 of us. When it was taken over, people said that, ‘Oh, we’re not looking to replace you; we want you to excel at your job and stay.” And then that quickly changed. I had a bad feeling when it was acquired that that was going to happen, but certain people asked me to have an open mind and listen. I did, and I went to the meetings and I tried it out, and it seemed workable from my end. And then they ... all of a sudden, the tone quickly changed, and they, really, just one-by-one, they let us all go. And so now all there is left is Scott and his assistant. It’s unfortunate. You work so hard to build something. It was a part of my life, a big part of my life. I worked day-in, day-out, weekends, nights. It was exciting. I liked the work, otherwise I wouldn’t be able to do it at the pace that I was doing it. So it sucks; it hurts. I guess from their perspective, they did what they had to do. It’s their business, so who am I to tell them how to run their business? But I would have appreciated some more respect.
Encarnacao: Do you honestly have any inkling of optimism that Zuffa will actually hang on to Strikeforce?
Afromowitz: I think the writing’s on the wall: they want one brand. It’s, like, I hope to see them just get rid of it. It’s just ... it’s a memory now. And I’m being honest with you; I think it would be better for them. I don’t even want to think about it, see it. It’s on my mind still, but it’s probably better, from my perspective, if it just goes away. Let them do what they’re going to do. Already, there’s at least one champ -- Nick [Diaz], he vacated the belt. We saw what [former Strikeforce heavyweight champion] Alistair [Overeem] did, but, apparently, he’s back in talks. I don’t know where that’s going to go. So there’s one or two champions who have vacated their belts. I don’t know what they’re going to do. It just doesn’t seem to make sense, from the way their business model [works], to keep Strikeforce around. It seems they want one brand. Whatever happens, happens.
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