By Zach Arnold | November 8, 2012
So, the announcement of Ronda Rousey going to UFC was made… on TMZ. The focus now is on Ronda Rousey vs. Cris Cyborg.
As MMA Weekly’s Damon Martin puts it, “Just because Strikeforce is exiting Showtime, don’t think they are getting completely out of the MMA game.”
Given Showtime’s history, they will want to work with a turnkey operation rather than build their own promotion. Do they figure out a way to cut a deal with World Series of Fighting if NBC Sports Network/Versus cuts bait after the ratings the first show drew last weekend? I guess there’s always King of the Cage…
The last Strikeforce event on Showtime will be in January. Out with a whimper, not a bang.
The big loser? California’s fight scene (again).
STRIKEFORCE® heads to the Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Okla., on Saturday, Jan. 12 with three championship fights, plus the return of Oklahoma State University star Daniel Cormier, all televised live on SHOWTIME®. With a collection of some of the best fighters in the world today, STRIKEFORCE has put together a memorable and historic card for the fans in the Sooner State.
The action-packed night includes the following bouts:
Gilbert “El Niño” Melendez (champion) vs. Pat Healy for the STRIKEFORCE lightweight title
Luke Rockhold (champion) vs. Lorenz Larkin for the STRIKEFORCE middleweight title
Nate Marquardt (champion) vs. Tarec Saffiedine for the STRIKEFORCE welterweight title
Daniel Cormier (Grand Prix champion, OSU All-American) vs. Dion Staring
“We’ve built an absolutely stacked card for Oklahoma City and the SHOWTIME viewers,” STRIKEFORCE CEO Scott Coker said. “We have three awesome title fights featuring some of the best fighters to ever grace the STRIKEFORCE cage. Plus, we have Daniel Cormier, one of the fastest-rising heavyweight stars today, returning to his roots in Oklahoma to fight Dion Staring. January 12 is going to be a really special night.”
“The biggest stars in STRIKEFORCE are putting their titles on the line in competitive fights,” said Stephen Espinoza, Executive Vice President and General Manager, SHOWTIME Sports®, “and that is precisely what fans of STRIKEFORCE on SHOWTIME have come to expect. We are excited to be part of the event.”
STRIKEFORCE® will air live on SHOWTIME® at 10 p.m. ET/PT (delayed on the West Coast), while preliminary fights will be shown live on SHOWTIME EXTREME® at 8 p.m. ET/PT (delayed on West Coast). Additional fights scheduled for the event are expected to be released shortly.
Tickets for STRIKEFORCE® go on sale to the public on Friday, November 16 at 12 p.m. CT and are priced at $150, $100, $70 and $50. Tickets are available at the Chesapeake Energy Arena box office, all Ticketmaster locations, at Ticketmaster.com or 1-800-745-3000. Ticket prices will be announced in the coming days. Applicable service charges may apply.
Update: The Glory 12/2 Makuhari Messe show in Chiba has been canceled in favor of piling resources towards their New Year’s Eve event on 12/31 at Saitama Super Arena. If Glory’s going to push forward in 2013 and spend cash, Showtime may just have a partner for both MMA & kickboxing.