(Due to a common misinterpretation of the Mayan calendar, many people believed that the world would end on 12/21/12. However, the Mayan word for “world” is the same as their word for “Strikeforce.” True story. Absolutely true story.)
The impending demise of Strikeforce was probably the worst-kept secret in show business. We wrote the eulogy for the promotion over a month ago, and have spent the weeks since then watching their last scheduled event get picked apart by injuries, injuries, and “injuries.” But finally, we’re getting some closure — Strikeforce and Showtime officials confirmed last night that January 12th’s “Marquardt vs. Saffiedine” card will be the promotion’s last on the premium cable network. From the press release:
STRIKEFORCE® welterweight champion and seasoned UFC® veteran Nate Marquardt will defend his title against current number one contender Tarec Saffiedine on Saturday, Jan. 12 as STRIKEFORCE® visits Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Okla…This will mark the final STRIKEFORCE event on SHOWTIME.
“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 to Ronda 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.”
The announcement doesn’t explicitly state that the 1/12 card will be Strikeforce’s final card ever — perhaps that would be too painful for Coker too admit — but the end of SF’s relationship with Showtime means that, effectively, this goose is cooked.
The full card for “Marquardt vs. Saffiedine” is below; the card will feature the first (and last) UFC-to-Strikeforce crossover bout, as middleweight veteran Ed Herman (3-0 w/1 no contest in his last four Octagon appearances) takes a trip across the promotional aisle to meet Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza.
- Nate Marquardt vs. Tarec Saffiedine
- Daniel Cormier vs. Dion Staring
- Josh Barnett vs. Nandor Guelmino
- Gegard Mousasi vs. Mike Kyle
- Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza vs. Ed Herman
- Pat Healy vs. TBA
- Roger Gracie vs. Anthony Smith
- Tim Kennedy vs. Trevor Smith
- KJ Noons vs. Ryan Couture
- Jorge Gurgel vs. Adriano Martins
- Estevan Payan vs. Michael Bravo