I've certainly been critical of Strikeforce and Showtime for their handling of the women's division in the past (see here, here and here), but with it now being January and neither of Strikeforce's women's champions having fights, the question has to be asked: What has happened to Strikeforce's women's divisions?
The company's middleweight champion, Cristiane "Cyborg" Santos hasn't been seen or heard from since beating the overmatched Jan Finney in June. The same goes for welterweight champion Marloes Coenen, who has been MIA since knocking off the previously undefeated Sarah Kaufman to capture the title in October.
No. 1 welterweight contender Miesha Tate has been sitting on the sidelines since August after winning a one night, four-woman tournament. What's even worse is that there isn't really even a No. 1 middleweight contender since Strikeforce has run exactly two, yes two, women's middleweight bouts since Cyborg last defended her title. The top contender, by default, appears to be Amanda Nunes after she knocked out Julia Budd earlier this month.
The pattern of disrespect has been clear and is only going to get worse with Strikeforce focusing on its Heavyweight Grand Prix for the foreseeable future.
You can say this about a lot of Strikeforce fighters, but it holds true even more so for the women: What's the point of having them under contract if you can't get them fights?
The prime athletic years of these women are being wasted away by a promotion that clearly doesn't have their best interests at heart. What's the point of having one women's division, let alone two, when you do nothing with them? I'm certainly glad these fighters have a place to call home, but if you're going to constantly disrespect them, why not just scrap the divisions and let them go elsewhere? I hate even saying that, but it's almost like, "what's the point?"
Strikeforce doesn't run enough shows to justify having seven weight classes. I mean, the company only ran eight non-Challengers shows in 2010. That's it. Eight. Either Strikeforce needs to run more big shows or it needs to think about cutting weight classes.
Strikeforce has its problems. We know this. But this problems seem to impact the female fighters much more than the male fighters. There's no chance to take a fight in DREAM for the women. Really, Strikeforce's two women's divisions really boil down to four fighters: Cyborg, Coenen, Tate and Kaufman. That's it. Think about that. Strikeforce is running two weight classes with three fighters in one and a single viable fighter in the other. It doesn't even make sense.
To me, it almost seems like Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker is biding his time with the divisions and putting all his eggs in one basket in hopes that Gina Carano comes back and "saves the division." That will be a miserable failure because I can't see her ever coming back.
This is becoming a broken record. Strikeforce and Showtime need to s--- or get off the pot with their women's divisions. Enough is enough.