September 24, 2012
Strikeforce announced late Sunday night that it was cancelling its event scheduled for September 29th in Sacramento, California. The cancellation comes with an injury to headliner Gilbert Melendez.
Melendez apparently separated his shoulder according to the Strikeforce light heavyweight champ in an interview with Inside MMA.
Showtime officials stated that the lack of its headliner in the main event and marquee undercard, the card must be cancelled.
Via MMA Junkie:
Ultimately, the decision to entirely cancel the event fell to Strikeforce officials. Of course, the promotion was likely expecting the licensing fees from the Showtime broadcast to cover expenses. For instance, at August’s “Strikeforce: Rousey vs. Kaufman” event in San Diego, Calif., the announced fighter purses (not including any non-contracted bonuses) totaled $368,000 while the official gate revenue for the event was confirmed by the California State Athletic Commission as $145,510.
Injuries pre-fight are beginning to be the norm. It seems as though Zuffa must make an effort to survey fight camps to see their respective training methods. It makes sense considering the numerous injuries that are occurring as the fight nears. The cancellation was likely warranted given the economic losses it was set to incur. Furthermore, without Melendez, the shots of the arena would look sparse which is not what the organization wants. Probably not a good thing for since Strikeforce is trying to keep its head above water.
September 18, 2012
In what is beginning to be the norm in the world of Zuffa, another fighter must pull out of a main event due to an injury. This time its Frank Mir as he was set to face Daniel Cormier in a Strikeforce event that was set for Oklahoma City in November.
MMA Junkie reports that Mir may have knee injury which caused him to pull out. The spate of recent injuries has caused Zuffa to scramble and book events on the fly. With about 6 weeks out, Strikeforce still has time to find a replacement for Mir.
Another injury, another replacement must be found. Mir was going to be the first UFC crossover to Strikeforce but we will see if Mir’s replacement will be another UFC Heavyweight. At least with the latest main event injury, there is time to find a suitable replacement from either UFC or Strikeforce.
August 21, 2012
MMA Junkie reports that this past Saturday’s Showtime event featuring Ronda Rousey defending her title averaged 529,000 viewers. The main event saw a bump to 676,000 viewers to watch Rousey armbar Sarah Kaufman in less than a minute.
Via MMA Junkie:
The viewership numbers include the both the live broadcast, which is distributed to Showtime’s East-coast viewers, as well as the same-day replay, which represents the tape-delayed broadcast to Strikeforce’s West-coast subscribers.
Showtime officials said that when a Sunday-morning replay of the event is considered, a total of nearly 900,000 viewers watched the event.
Will women’s MMA carry Strikeforce on Showtime – or just Ronda Rousey? The ratings are a sign that the Rousey hype help propel the card to the best ratings in 2012 for the network. The numbers are better than the 2011 Strikeforce “Arena Series” on Showtime too. With Cyborg entering the picture a la pro-wrestling style, we could see bigger ratings when that fight is booked.
August 20, 2012
MMA Junkie reports the salaries for this past Saturday’s Strikeforce event. Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza topped the list with Ronda Rousey only receiving $40,000 for her armbar victory over Sarah Kaufman.
The salaries were released by the California State Athletic Commission.
Via MMA Junkie:
Ronda Rousey: $40,000 (includes $20,000 win bonus) def. Sarah Kaufman: $17,000
Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza: $94,000 (includes $22,000 win bonus) def. Derek Brunson: $13,000
Tarec Saffiedine: $35,000 (includes $17,500 win bonus) def. Roger Bowling: $10,000
Anthony Smith: $6,000 (includes $3,000 win bonus) def. Lumumba Sayers: $7,000
Ovince St. Preux: $34,000 (includes $17,000 win bonus) def. T.J. Cook: $3,000
Miesha Tate: $38,000 (includes $19,000 win bonus) def. Julie Kedzie: $5,000
Adian Amagov: $20,000 (includes $10,000 win bonus) def. Keith Berry: $2,000
Germaine de Randamie: $15,000 (includes $7,500 win bonus) def. Hiroko Yamanaka: $8,000
Bobby Green: $16,000 (includes $8,000 win bonus) def. Matt Ricehouse: $5,000
A $20,000 base for Rousey is an actual raise from her last fight against Miesha Tate. Rousey made $15K (with a $17K win bonus for a total of $32K) against Tate this past March. For the amount of promotion that went behind Rousey, it’s incredible to think that she only made $40,000 in salary (this excludes sponsor money and locker room bonus). If Dana White warms to women’s MMA we will see if that means appropriate wages for its top of the card fighters like Rousey.
August 9, 2012
Ronda Rousey added on to her media resume by making an appearance on Conan O’Brien’s late night talk show on TBS. Rousey is making the rounds to hype her Strikeforce fight next Saturday against Sarah Kaufman.
Rousey talked about why she’s called “The Arm Collector” and about sex
More clips on the Team Coco YouTube Channel.
Not only did Rousey make an appearance on Conan, she was featured in an “all access” show on Showtime. We haven’t even mentioned ESPN’s Body Issue and the fact that Dana White wore a Rousey shirt at the UFC on Fox 4 weigh-ins. And, she’s cornered several UFC fighters at recent events. Rousey’s appearances have overshadowed the fact that UFC 150 is looking like a very strong card.
Rousey’s appeal rivals, and maybe outdoes, the hype Gina Carano had during her zenith as the face of women’s MMA. Does her popularity help women’s MMA? It certainly brings it into the mainstream. It also keeps Strikeforce afloat so long as Dana White does not bring women’s MMA over to the UFC.
July 26, 2012
USA Today reports that Frank Mir will be facing Daniel Cormier at a Strikeforce event this fall. It will be the first time that an existing fighter on the UFC roster will fight on a Strikeforce card.
After their encounter, Mir and Cormier will fight in the UFC Heavyweight division. As usual, the fight will air on Showtime.
It’s an interesting booking decision that should help with the promotion of the Strikeforce event. One would have to think that Mir was asked to do this as it’s unlikely he would voluntarily want to appear on a Strikeforce card. Perhaps a make good for getting the shot at JDS. But, if Mir were to lose, it would put him behind Cormier in the quest to get another shot at JDS
July 18, 2012
MMA Junkie reports that this weekend’s Strikeforce event in Portland, Oregon received a Showtime ratings average of 420,000 viewers. The numbers pale in comparison to other Strikeforce on Showtime events but is decent considering the lack of promotion for the card.
Via MMA Junkie:
Strikeforce’s previous three events in 2012 averaged 426,000 viewers. The season average now stands at 425,000 viewers. By comparison, Strikeforce’s eight 2011 “Arena Series” events drew an average audience of 521,375 viewers on Showtime.
It would be interesting to compare ratings for the Strikeforce event with HBO Boxing’s Khan vs. Garcia. I have to say Khan vs. Garcia was compelling considering the momentum shift in the third round. As for the Strikeforce ratings, it’s not clear to me what Zuffa will do with the Strikeforce brand. If it intends to keep it, there needs to be more of a promotional push leading up to the event. “The Marine vs. the Surfer” promos Strikeforce ran were not compelling. The quality of the Silva-Sonnen II promos were far better than Rockhold-Kennedy. Yes, the talent level is higher in the UFC but the effort to push the Strikeforce fighters should be there.
July 13, 2012
The UFC announced earlier this week at its Fighter Summit that it would provide UFC and Strikeforce fighters a formal policy concerning Performance Enhancing Drugs (PEDs) and other banned substances.
Via UFC press release:
Lawrence Epstein, the company’s Executive Vice-President and General Counsel, explained the written policy is a continuation of existing policy, and that both promotions will follow guidelines drafted by the same law firm which advises the National Football League on PEDs.
Epstein said: “It is important to continue educating our athletes on the dangers of PEDs and other banned substances. Additionally, no new UFC or STRIKEFORCE promotional agreement will become effective before the athlete has provided a clean PED test result.”
He added: “PED and banned substance usage harms the integrity of sport, potentially compromises the safety of our athletes, raises concerns for both short and long-term health issues and sends an improper message to our fanbase. We will continue to be at the forefront of this issue. And we will continue to work with Athletic Commissions and other bodies to ensure – to the fullest extent possible – that testing procedure keep pace with scientific advancements regarding the identification and detection of prohibited substances.”
The promotions’ medical consultant Dr. Jeff Davidson then spoke to the athletes about both the short and long-term medical effects of PEDs. Dr. Davidson discussed the topical Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT) and Keith Kizer – the Executive Director of the Nevada State Athletic Commission – detailed the laws and regulations pertaining to PEDs and TRT.
Announcing that the law firm that is drafting the PED policy is the same firm that advises the NFL on PEDs lends credibility to its efforts that it is attempting to address the issue of PEDs in its sports. But, if you think that the NFL is not addressing its PED problem, then you may take issue. Zuffa had to address the PED issue considering the number of incidents that have come up in the past couple years. It will be interesting to see if the policy addresses the TRT issue and Nevada’s policy of allowing therapeutic use exemptions for fighters. As we’ve read, Forrest Griffin became the sixth fighter to obtain a TUE exemption. With Keith Kizer advising the fighters on the rules and regulations of TRT, will more fighters seek the exemption?
March 6, 2012
MMA Weekly reports that Strikeforce: Tate vs. Rousey received only 431,000 viewers Saturday night. The ratings are indicative of previous Strikeforce shows on Showtime. UPDATE: The ratings peaked at 504,000 viewers during main event.
Via MMA Weekly:
That number is fairly typical for a Strikeforce event on Showtime. The promotion hit its peak viewership with Fedor vs. Silva early in 2011, drawing 741,000 viewers. Other more common showings for Strikeforce were the likes of Henderson vs. Feijao at 412,000, Diaz vs. Daley at 528,000, and Melendez vs. Masvidal at 460,000.
The numbers could be good or bad depending what you think of a women’s bout as the main event. The last time Showtime featuring a women’s main event with this much hype was Gina Carano facing Cyborg Santos back in August 2009 where that show received 576,000 viewers. 431,000 viewers is low and considering Dana White is stepping back from providing input could mean that we’ll see the product whither away. Let’s hope that its not the case as Rousey and Tate proved that there should be some platform for women’s MMA. With the peak of 504,000 viewers occurring during the main event, it shows that the marketing/promotion for the main event worked and that there is a market for women’s MMA. Hopefully, Zuffa will continue to stick with women’s MMA and it will evolve into something that viewers will want to see.
March 5, 2012
MMA Junkie reports that Dana White will step away from working with Strikeforce and focus on the UFC. White said this after Saturday night’s Strikeforce event in which Showtime execs turned down suggestions provided by White.
White planned to skip the UFC on FX 2 event in order to head to the Strikeforce event in Columbus, Ohio but when he heard that Showtime would not implement certain changes to the production of the card, he skipped the Strikeforce event.
Via MMA Junkie:
But at the last minute, things changed. According to White, new Showtime boss Stephen Espinoza decided maybe not all of the changes the UFC boss proposed would find their way into the event.
And, White said, he didn’t have the courtesy to even make a direct call, instead preferring contact with fellow Zuffa exec Pete Dropick.
“I almost missed the first UFC fight in 11 years, and then I get the phone call from Pete Dropick when I’m in Japan,” White said. “‘Yeah, listen, they’re not going to change pretty much any of the stuff you wanted.’ So I said, ‘[Expletive] them.’
Hard to say if this is good or bad for Strikeforce. Based on the initial reviews and estimates, the Strikeforce event was well-received. It would be interesting to see what changes White wanted and why Showtime turned down the changes. With White hands off on Strikeforce, it will be interesting to see how Strikeforce will do assuming Scott Coker takes over. Also, what support will it receive from Zuffa?