UFC president Dana White has gone on record denying earlier reports detailing Showtime’s fighter exclusivity contracts.
As Dave Meltzer reported on on his podcast, several Strikeforce fighters (most notably Gilbert Melendez, Luke Rockhold, and Ronda Rousey) are currently held down to Showtime exclusive contracts, which would not allow them to fight for any promotion off the subscription based channel, even if Strikeforce were to fold into the UFC. Dana White took to the UG in an attempt to debunk the rumors.
“idk wtf melzers problem is! Has this guy lost his mind? That is absolutely not true! … Dave has lost his mind!! Now he is just making sh*t up.”
While White denies the rumors, members of our staff have been told about a fairly similar contact clause by a current Strikeforce fighter in the past.
Later reports by Meltzer claim that the stipulation only stands as long as Strikeforce is under contract with Showtime, and does not extend past the company’s life. Questions of this later report were not posed to Dana, who was originally asked about what were basically lifetime contracts with Showtime. The discrepancies remain unclear, but there is ostensibly some sort of issue that needs ironing out in the understanding of the wording in Zuffa/Showtime contracts.