Strikeforce’s new DVD set is good, bad and ugly all at the same time

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You don’t become a fight nerd without having a massive collection of footage. From my golden era of tape trading to the modern times of disc media, my room is a sprawling mess of recorded MMA media, from the big events in popular arenas to the tiny shows in half-empty Knights of Columbus halls. It was inevitable when Strikeforce officially announced their first step into the home-video market and released their premiere DVD, simply called (wait for it)… “Strikeforce.” The name says it all, literally.

So when I finally got this two-disc set, I figured I should do my civic duty of helping my readers decide what to spend their unemployment checks on and review this new item. The picture to your left is the cover of the box, which features Alistair Overeem, Fedor Emelianeko and Robbie Lawler, an interesting trio to feature on a cover. Below them are a few action shots, which I feel would have been a much better choice as the main image and not as back-ups. In general, the images on the packaging are sparse, with much empty space on the back of the package for no reason. Were there not enough photos from the past Strikeforce shows to fill those spots? Nonetheless, while not my optimal choice for a cover image, it gets the job done and hopefully Fedor’s blank face can sell some product.

This DVD set, as the title suggests, has its good, its bad, and its ugly. And it’s only fair to start with the ugly. So I want to start with one of the most hilarious and amazing ugly things this set has to offer. I did a double-take when I saw this, and when I saw how many times they did it, I was stunned. Quality control? Guess not.

Just what is this massively stupefying mistake? Hit the jump to see!


So what is it we are looking at? No, it’s not the incredibly cheap looking DVD label, although that is part of the problem. It is what the DVD label says. Still don’t see it? Have a closer look!


If you still are not seeing it, let me fill you in. Last time I checked, “Heavy Artillery” was not May 15, 2009, it was 2010. So you might be saying, “Fight Nerd, you nitpicking nitwit, that’s an honest mistake that no one else would even notice!” Maybe, but then I turned the sleeve over to disc two…


According to disc two, both of these events also happened in 2009, when I am pretty sure that they both took place in 2010, AKA a few months ago. It also gives the wrong dates on the paper part of the packaging on the inside. So yeah, am I still nitpicking? How in the world did this get past quality control? Did no one double check the dates before they went to print? I hope someone got fired for this one because there are now thousands of these DVD’s that are totally misprinted.

As for the DVD package itself, I already mentioned the cheap looking label, but did I add how cheap the entire package itself feels? Light as a feather with very flimsy construction, and the clear plastic case does nothing to make it feel that my disc will be safe and protected inside the case. That is where the ugly ends, thankfully (even though the misprinting is quite ugly). Now let’s get to the meat of this and talk about what is on the DVD’s.

After you sit through two minutes of commercials (which is not a complaint, that’s actually not long for DVD’s today), you are brought to the animated main menu which is enjoyable to watch as it shows a dramatic montage of highlight reel worthy moments. You can choose your event, depending on whether you are on the first or second disc, and from there choose to see the whole event, watch a certain match or check out the special features. If you choose to watch a single match, you are given a “tale of the tape” screen which gives the fighters stats before you watch it, and is almost a way to confirm that, yes, you do indeed want to watch the fight you just picked. It slows the process down a bit, but I don’t mind the extra info.

The bonus features consist of the undercard fights (which in my opinion should be part of the event itself but some people would rather skip those so no love lost there), weigh-ins, post-fight interviews, and photo galleries. The post-fight interviews are not interviews with every fighter but whoever they felt like putting in there. In other words, no Fedor interview after his loss to Werdum. So you can watch an entire weigh-in or check out a few post-fight interviews with whoever they felt like showing, which is not always who you want to see. This is extra bizarre since we already see them talking in the cage after their fights, so why are we seeing this twice, just in a different room? The extras are pretty skimpy, as I was expecting more glimpses of backstage before, during, and after the events, which the UFC DVD’s typically give us. Granted, you can not expect much from a live sports event, but this is MMA. They could be creative and pull some press conference highlights in there or find a few other goodies to keep us watching the DVD.

The most important part of both DVD’s is the events, and you will be glad to know that not much has changed from the first time they aired. That can be interpreted as a good or bad thing, since quite often we see the event shilling other events. For example, moments before Fedor VS Werdum, we see King Mo sitting cageside and a Showtime plug for their next event where he is fighting, with the date of the show on it. The UFC DVD’s tend to cut that sort of thing out since it is simply filler and not needed. In other words, if you saw it live on Showtime, you are seeing an exact replay of that show. Another irritating thing is that the creators of the DVD think we are stupid. Every now and then, you will see a match and notice on top of the screen the words “Previously recorded.” Really? I mean, I wasn’t sure when I bought the DVD if this was actually happening in front of my eyes or if this was an old event.

For the price of $30, you are getting three Strikeforce events, which is a very good deal when compared to most UFC DVD’s. However, this DVD seems to give you the bare minimum of special features and gives you a half-hearted edit of the live shows. I’m surprised there was no Showtime logo on the bottom of the screen. With all of these little annoyances, I still enjoyed watching all of the fights and was ecstatic to finally have them on a legit DVD, especially getting three solid events in one set. I just wish these were put together with more care, from the packaging to the post-production. If you want to order The “Strikeforce MMA” DVD set from Amazon.com, head to this link over here to grab it for a discounted price. Something that could have been much better ended up being a bit disappointing, and I honestly look forward to seeing more Strikeforce DVD’s with the hope that they spruce things up with the next go.

Any of my readers buy or see this DVD yet and have any comments about it? You know where to write them (and if you don’t, I mean in the comment box below).

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