Upstart rankles White

Ultimate Fighting Championship president Dana White always has been ruthless in his approach to organizations looking to capitalize on his company’s supremacy in the sport of mixed martial arts.

He has famously locked horns with Pride, Elite XC and Affliction, in particular.

All of those organizations are gone — either run out of business or absorbed by the UFC juggernaut.

That hasn’t been the case with Strikeforce. White always has been complimentary of the way the upstart company has run its business.

But, just a week after Strikeforce landed prized free-agent heavyweight Fedor Emelianenko, White appears to be finished with the niceties.

“They should have stayed the way they were. You want to fight me, we’re going to fight. You know how that goes, and we know how it ends,” said White, later referring to the company as “Strikefarce.”

He predicted the deal with Emelianenko eventually will lead to the company’s demise.

“He’ll put them out of business. They have no money,” White said. “These guys have no money, and they have no distribution. Four (expletive) people watch Showtime.”

Strikeforce will host an event Saturday night in San Jose, Calif. The card will be headlined by a bout between Cristiane “Cyborg” Santos and Las Vegan Gina Carano for the organization’s first women’s title.

The card has gone through several significant changes for various reasons, but two other title fights are still on tap.

Renato “Babalu” Sobral will defend his light heavyweight belt against Gegard Mousasi. The bout was originally scheduled to be part of the Affliction card on Aug. 1, but it was made a part of this event after Affliction went out of business.

Also, interim lightweight champion Gilbert Melendez will defend his belt against Mitsuhiro Ishida.

‘MAYHEM AT THE MONSTER?’ — Massachusetts is very close to finally passing MMA regulations, which would clear the way for a UFC show in White’s home state.

White hinted that the UFC’s first show in Massachusetts could be at Fenway Park in early 2010.

The organization also has discussed possibly staging an outdoor show at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu.

SANCHEZ NEXT — White indicated during the UFC 101 postfight news conference that Diego Sanchez would probably get the next shot at BJ Penn’s lightweight title.

Sanchez has earned decisions over contenders Joe Stevenson and Clay Guida in his only two fights since moving down to the 155-pound class.

Penn retained the title Saturday with a dominating performance against Kenny Florian, stopping the challenger with a rear-naked choke in the fourth round.

Contact reporter Adam Hill at ahill@reviewjournal.com or 702-224-5509.

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