Strikeforce Confirms January 12th Event Last Card to be Shown on Showtime
By FCF Staff
As many people believed would be the case, Strikeforce confirmed Thursday that its upcoming January 12th event in Oklahoma City, will be the last of its cards that airs on Showtime. Although the announcement did not outright announce that the promotion will be ending operations soon, with more Strikeforce stars like Ronda Rousey and Robbie Lawler having moved to the UFC, today’s news seems to indicate that the promotion’s days are indeed numbered.
Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker and Showtime’s Stephen Espinoza were quoted saying in today’s press release:
“Since 2009, SHOWTIME has been a great partner and we appreciate its support of STRIKEFORCE and our athletes,” Scott Coker, STRIKEFORCE CEO, said. “For our final event, we’ve loaded the card with some outstanding fights. This is going to be a memorable night for the sport of mixed martial arts.”
“We are proud of our association with Scott Coker and the entire STRIKEFORCE team,” said Stephen Espinoza, Executive Vice President and General Manager, SHOWTIME Sports. “From Gina Carano toRonda Rousey, Fedor Emelianenko to Daniel Cormier, Nick Diaz to Gilbert Melendez, SHOWTIME Sports and STRIKEFORCE have built some of the biggest stars in the sport and have produced many of the most watched and most intriguing fights in the history of MMA. We look forward to another night of competitive and explosive STRIKEFORCE fights on SHOWTIME on January 12 in OKC.”
Some of the scheduled fights for the January 12th event include welterweight champion Nate Marquardt vs. Tarec Saffiedine, Gegard Mousasi vs. Mike Kyle, Roger Gracie vs. Anthony Smith, KJ Noons vs. Ryan Couture and “Jacare” Souza vs. Ed Herman.
Since ZUFFA, the parent company of the UFC, acquired Strikeforce in 2011, several of the promotion’s biggest names have moved to the Octagon, including Alistair Overeem, Nick Diaz, and Cung Le among others.
Speculation that the promotion would be closing its doors sometime in 2013 was heightened this fall, when not one, but two Strikeforce events were cancelled due to injuries. More recently, it was confirmed that one of Strikeforce’s rising stars in women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey, has moved to the UFC and will fight Liz Carmouche February 23rd.