It’s fair to say that Strikeforce’s second event on network television with CBS did not go according to plan.
The ‘Nashville’ event last month went ahead without their main star Fedor Emelianenko due to a contract dispute, the main card fights were lackluster despite a promising line-up, an in-cage brawl broke out after the headline fight, and the final TV ratings for the show were a disappointment.
In the the aftermath of the show many predicted that the writing may well be on the wall for Strikeforce on CBS. Since then little has been said about the potential for the partnership to continue, but in a new interview with MMAjunkie, Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker said he remained “hopeful” that a third event on the network would still occur.
“It’s something that we haven’t had a conversation with them yet, but probably after this St. Louis fight we’ll sit down with them and have that conversation,” says Coker.
“This is the same course as the last show,” he continued. “After the Fedor Emelianenko fight in November, it wasn’t like we had our April date right afterward. They have to go back and analyze and know all the data and the sales, and then we have a meeting. But our meeting for the April fight wasn’t until January, I believe.
“This is the same process we went through last time. This is a normal course of business. Hopefully, we’ll have a great fall date and we’ll have some more great fights on CBS.”
Coker’s recollection is fairly accurate, though CBS executive Kelly Kahl actually went on record on the 15th of December (roughly five weeks after the initial Fedor Vs Rogers event) that there would be a second Strikeforce event on the network. At that stage he already had a rough idea of a date for the show and a couple of fighters in mind for it.
That didn’t come as a surprise at the time since only days after that event had taken place Kahl had given some hints that a second event was likely. After last month’s event he was more muted about the potential for a third event however.
At this stage we are almost exactly a month away from the Nashville event so hopefully CBS are just waiting for the dust to settle on the controversy surrounding it, and perhaps looking to the figures from tomorrow night’s ‘Heavy Artillery’ event on Showtime before making any final decisions.