HDNet Set to Broadcast Strikeforce Fedor vs Silva Prelim Fights, 8-Man LW GP From Japan

January 27, 2011

HDNet has long been the home to MMA promotions all over the world, and it looks like they will continue to be so in 2011 as Strikeforce will call it their home once again to air non-televised bouts on Showtime, starting with the first leg of the HW Grand Prix on February 12, from New Jersey.

LIVE! Sat, Feb 12th8:00 PMHDNet Fights – Strikeforce™ World Grand Prix Heavyweight Tournament UndercardsTop prospects take center stage as John Cholish meets Marc Stevens. Plus, Igor Gracie and Sam Oropeza are in action.

Along with televising the undercards, HDNet Fights’ Inside MMA will also be on site the day before the event, and will televise their weekly program focusing on the monumental event at 9PM ET Live from New Jersey.

UPDATE: Mike Schiavello and Bas Rutten will be doing the Strikeforce Prelim commentating.

UPDATE 2: According to ESPN’s Josh Gross, Strikeforce is in talks with Real Entertainment to host an 8-man LW GP consisting of Strikeforce and DREAM LW’s in Japan, which would be televised on HDNet starting in May. Japanese fighters Shinya Aoki, Tatsuya Kawajiri and Katsunori Kikuno are expected to participate.

Payout Perspective:

In the past few years, there have been on-and-off again discussions for Strikeforce to televise their non-aired prelim fights through different outlets.  In the past, Strikeforce, EA Sports, and recently, Sherdog have all hosted prelim fights on their website via online streaming, and conversations between Strikeforce and HDNet had taken place in the past but nothing ever materialized.  It’s great to see Strikeforce use HDNet as a platform to get more fights out to its fans, and more importantly, getting more of its fighters experience and on television to grow them and groom them for the bigger shows.  Strikeforce has only so many shows they can do in a year and with an ever growing roster, televising undercard fights will do wonders for the company. Along with growing their own brand, this platform gives exposure to fighters in order to grow their own individual brans. It also gives them the opportunity to benefit from sponsorship dollars.

11 Responses to “HDNet Set to Broadcast Strikeforce Fedor vs Silva Prelim Fights, 8-Man LW GP From Japan”

  1. jv on January 27th, 2011 4:55 PM

    That is awesome news for SF. Coker is really making waves this year. I wonder how accommodating SHO wanted to be? I hope this doesn’t mean that they have to roll two different HD Trucks to the event. That would be lame.

  2. Diana on January 27th, 2011 5:12 PM

    Excellent news! Mote exposure, everybody wins!

  3. jv on January 27th, 2011 7:10 PM

    If that LW tournament happens they need to invite Eddie Alvarez to enter.

    The more I think of the prelims deal the more I like it. Coker has been saying for a while that he would like to do a womens 125 division but he can’t do it because he doesn’t have the fight slots available. But these prelims would be a good place to put fighters like Liz Camaroche, Shana Olsen etc.

    That would free up room to bring in heavy hitters like Tara LaRosa etc at 125. Not only is 125 starting to be one of the busy weight classes but it would also cut Rebney off at the knees. Also if Miesha gets beat bad against Marloes she is likely to cut to 125 which she said she could make easy. Coker would not want to lose Miesha. The media loves her.

  4. mmaguru on January 27th, 2011 8:02 PM

    Japan? I wonder if this has anything to do with Josh Barnett’s licensing issues in Nevada.

  5. Jose Mendoza on January 27th, 2011 9:43 PM


    Japan for the April Werdum vs Overeem card is rumored, but in this article, this would be for the LW GP which has nothing to do with the HW GP and Josh Barnett. In reality, having Josh, Overeem, and Werdum fight in Japan makes a lot more sense than in the US because of how big they are over there, regardless of licensing issues. Texas lets anyone fight there, so there is much more to this than just that.

  6. Matt C. on January 28th, 2011 8:44 AM

    Great move for Strikeforce.

    Someone please correct me if I’ve got this wrong. But hasn’t Strikeforce been farming out it’s undercard to local promoters who have been filling it up with mostly amateurs fighters?

    If so does this mean Strikeforce won’t be farming out their prelims to local promoters anymore?

    Another if so question. Does that mean and expanded roster coming as well or will they just use those extra slots to keep the fighters they already have busier?

    Because in my opinion to close the gap and grow they need to start utilizing those undercard slots to start promoting and building new stars for the future. In the past farming those undercards out may have saved some costs but it seemed like a treading water kind of move to me.

  7. Diego on January 28th, 2011 10:34 AM

    If they have a LW GP in Japan, doesn’t that mean that Eddie Alvarez is free to enter it? He he is allowed to fight for Dream (is that in his contract or is it on a case by case basis with Bellator’s approval?), so if the tournament is based in Japan and made up of Dream and SF fighters, Eddie should be free and clear to join. I love the idea and I hope they pull it off, now for a negative point:

    Are they just screwing over Bellator? Rebney has been calling out Coker to make the Alvarez-Melendez fight happen. Did Coker just pull a little promoter’s jiujitsu on Rebney to make the fight happen without any Bellator involvement? Ouch. If the first round of the tournament has Eddie and Gil matched up – double ouch.

  8. Diego on January 28th, 2011 10:39 AM

    I like the fact that they are going to show their undercards on HDNet. Showtime obviously isn’t interested in that because it doesn’t fit their model, but if the fights can be aired it gives good exposure to fighters who may be a notch below the Challengers cards – or can even be used as another venue for Challengers quality fighters. Who knows, eventually they may even put in a few of the more exciting prelims on the main Showtime card. Won’t that be something.

  9. Jose Mendoza on January 28th, 2011 11:16 AM

    Matt C.:

    “But hasn’t Strikeforce been farming out it’s undercard to local promoters who have been filling it up with mostly amateurs fighters?”

    Answer: Depends where they go, but yes, they typically get either a local promotion or with help from a local promotion to run the prelims.

    “If so does this mean Strikeforce won’t be farming out their prelims to local promoters anymore?”

    Answer: It doesn’t mean that at all, it still could be a combination of both. Televised fights so far for the 2/12 event are John Cholish vs Marc Stevens & Igor Gracie vs Sam Oropeza. It does give them an opportunity to put more of their fighters on the prelims and give them exposure and build them up to Challenger and Bigger shows though. A great example is tomorrows Strikeforce show from San Jose. They have some great talent in the undercard with Coy vs Moore, Germaine de Randamie, Jenna Castillo, Bobby Stack, Eric Lawson, etc. For tomorrows event, Sherdog will stream 6 fights from their website.

    “Another if so question. Does that mean and expanded roster coming as well or will they just use those extra slots to keep the fighters they already have busier?”

    Answer: They need those extra slots to keep their current fighters busy. They will add prospects and big names strategically, not for the sake of getting a bigger roster.

    What this does, whether its their own fighters or just local fighters is that it gives SF more exposure as well as its fighters, by having HDNet cover the production costs, so it should be a win win for them while HDNet gets a big promotion under their banner and also gets a ton of content to fill their shows with. For example, Inside MMA will be on site from New Jersey and at the weigh-ins.

  10. jv on January 28th, 2011 11:51 AM

    I’ve always liked the SF out of the box thinking on prelims. They do a good job of building ties with the community and the local fighters sell a lot of tickets for some shows. I doubt SF wants to lose that connection.

    Some thing to keep in mind is that once SF has paid for the venue and brought the gear in they can add fights at minimal extra cost. They did a show in San Jose a while ago and they had pro fighters on the prelims. But they let CAMO (California Amateur Mixed Martial Arts Organization) hold some regional finals before hand.

    So SF can start stacking the prelims with better talent and still let the local guys do their thing. The locals would just have to start earlier. Also while the top local guys may have fought other local guys before some of them may now get to fight guys brought in from out side to help them progress. There are lots of options here.

  11. Mike on January 31st, 2011 2:06 PM

    I like that they’re having Bas in the booth for it. It would be REALLY nostalgic if he announced the Fedor fight. I actually hope Showtime uses some other announcers because with the exception of Pat Militech, the rest are not very good (Mauro is too over the top, Quadros sound like he there just to collect a check, Gus Johnson is better suited for NFL/NCAA events). Pat actually adds insight – team him up with Bas and that dude from sherdog that impressed me (I think it was Breen) Showtime and I guarantee your product will come off much, MUCH BETTER and Professional!

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