Strikeforce's October Surprise?
September 11, 2009
Franklin McNeil of the Newark Star Ledger and ESPN’s (excellent) MMA Live was the first to break the rumor that Brett Rogers would face the consensus best heavyweight in the world, Fedor Emelianenko, on October 10 at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey. Earlier this week came news that Showtime had cleared a block of time for live programming the night of October 10, which seemed also to point in the direction of a live Strikeforce show. Showtime Adds Strikeforce Listing
As the second week of September comes to a close, it seems more and more unlikely that there will be a Strikeforce show on October 10.
Many presume that Strikeforce has delayed official announcement of the show to make it more difficult for UFC to offer live counter-programming that night. I guess it’s possible that Scott Coker is cowering in fear at Dana’s declaration of war, but I’m not sure his fear isn’t misplaced here.
Sure, we’ve read that UFC is prepared to counter with a secret live show that’s ready to go, but even if that’s true, UFC countering Strikeforce (i) adds to the publicity for the night, as more media will pay attention to Fedor vs. UFC than would otherwise with Fedor on Showtime alone, which could lead to more eyes watching that night in general, and more eyes watching Showtime than there would be without UFC countering, and (ii) hurts Zuffa because there already is a WEC show scheduled for October 10 airing live on Versus, so Zuffa would not only compete against Strikeforce, but would also counter itself — a grand strategy, indeed.
Beyond this, unless an announcement is made today, I can’t see Fedor/Rogers happening on October 10. I guess it’s possible that a bunch of fighters have entered or are about to enter secret training camp, as the date is four weeks from Saturday, but that seems unlikely.
Moreover, maybe in his utter fear Scott Coker has forgotten about this, but he might want to consider how he’s going to fill the Prudential Center with people paying for seats. Again, the fights will allegedly occur four weeks from Saturday. There’s been no official announcement, one doesn’t seem forthcoming, so at best it seems that something could be said early next week, which leaves fewer than four weeks to sell tickets, not to mention market the show (Brett who?) to the New York Metro area.
Like I said, I guess it’s possible that Coker has lost his senses and forgotten about all this because he’s worried that Dana White not only wants to kill Strikeforce, but wants to obtain some kind of Pyrrhic victory in destroying UFC sister promotion WEC, too.
Seriously, Coker, what you should be doing is scheduling EVERY major Strikeforce show against WEC, just to fight back a bit. Let Dana counter himself, or let Zuffa keep changing WEC dates. Either way, at least you’d be an irritant.
Right now, if you really have a show planned but still unannounced for October 10, your promotion is exactly what Dana claims it is, nothing more than a joke, a dead promotion walking: Strikefarce.