On paper Strikeforce: Overeem Vs Werdum looked to have strength in depth in it’s line-up, and with the remaining two heavyweight grand-prix quarter-finals topping the bill one would have expected it to be a hot ticket for fans in Dallas, Texas.
That’s not how it turned out though, with the official attendance being tagged at 7,639, producing a $543,000 gate, while some fans in attendance reported numerous empty seats.
To put those numbers into perspective, the last time Strikeforce visited Texas just 10 months ago with a main event consisting of ‘King Mo’ Vs ‘Feijao’ the attendance was 8,635, while the UFC’s last visit to Dallas in September of 2009 pulled in an impressive 17,428 fans for a bumper $2.4 million gate.
So this weekend’s numbers must surely be a concern for Strikeforce, particularly as their recent acquisition by Zuffa was supposed to bring benefits in terms of the number of staff and overall marketing power now at their disposal.
There could be a number of reasons for the mediocre numbers produced. The fact that there’s been a four month gap between the first set of quarter-final bouts and the second set didn’t help for one thing.
Alistair Overeem and Fabricio Werdum headlining the card despite being absent from the promotion for over a year could also be a factor when it comes to attracting the attention of the casual fan base, while Gina Carano pulling out injured was also a blow.
Whatever the reason it’s a concern for Strikeforce who are keen to show Zuffa that they are worth keeping around in the longer term, and have being pushing the heavyweight tournament format as the jewel in their crown this year.