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Strikeforce Returns to Showtime in April; Smith vs. Radach Booked

(Benji Radach goes in for the kill against Murilo "Ninja" Rua at EliteXC: Heat last October. Photo courtesy of the Honolulu Star-Bulletin.)

From a new press release distributed by Strikeforce:

Showtime Networks Inc. and World championship mixed martial arts (MMA) event producer Strikeforce have joined forces to create an all-new series of MMA events that will air live on SHOWTIME® as part of the SHOWTIME Sports franchise. The news was jointly announced today by Ken Hershman, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Sports and Event Programming, Showtime Networks, and Strikeforce Founder and CEO Scott Coker.
The multi-year agreement calls for SHOWTIME to produce and televise up to 16 live events per year including Strikeforce world championship events as well as a series dedicated to showcasing up-and-coming fighters in the sport. The initial championship event is schedule for Saturday, April 11, 2009 at the HP Pavilion in San Jose, Calif. The fight card will be announced at a later date.

This won’t be the first time that a Strikeforce event has been broadcast on Showtime; Shamrock vs. Le aired live on the premium cable channel last March, and Shamrock vs. Baroni aired on Showtime PPV in June 2007. But now it looks like Strikeforce will be airing fight cards with the same frequency as the UFC — particularly when you include the quarterly specials on CBS, as has been reported — and that’s a significant step forward.

According to FiveOuncesofPain, one of the fights that will featured in the April 11th event will be a bout between Scott Smith and Benji Radach. Smith was featured twice in EliteXC’s live events on CBS, both times in unsuccessful efforts to claim Robbie Lawler‘s middleweight title. (Their first fight was ruled a no-contest after Smith received an unintentional eye-poke in the third round that ended the match.) Somehow, Smith was able to extricate himself from his EliteXC contract after Pro Elite closed its doors, and last competed for Strikeforce in November, scoring a 24-second knockout over Terry Martin. Radach last competed at EliteXC: Heat in October, where he knocked out Murilo Rua in the second round.

Former Strikeforce middleweight champ Frank Shamrock and current Strikeforce lightweight champ Josh Thomson are also rumored to be on the card.

Cagepotato Comments

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Canucklechuck- February 6, 2009 at 11:48 am
It will be interesting to see where all this great MMA programming shows up on Canadian television. Our "Showtime", Showcase (i think) has not gone in the same direction as the US sister channel, relative to MMA. I think the last Frank Shamrock Showtime fight aired on the Fight Network up here, and I think that Strikeforce has some sort of a deal with the Score Network.

@ OBI - Love the weekly ritual. Substitute a a fattie for a stogie and I'm inviting myself over. Currenly i have been running through the first UFCs while working-out on my stationary bike. I'm on UFC 10 and have the second five-disk set (UFC 11-20) waiting in the wings. Spongebob rocks but lately I've been watching The Mighty B (Amy Poeler) with my three year old and we both definitely dig it. So with those PrideFC DVDs are you watching recorded events or "best of" compilations? Where did you get 'em etc? Holla' back if you have a moment.
Old, Bald and Irish- February 6, 2009 at 10:20 am
@ mayhem420

Yeah, everyone keeps telling me that Dexter is great. I've caught a couple episodes of Weeds and that was cool too.

The truth is, I don't watch a lot of TV. A little news, some boxing and anything MMA. That's about it. If I watch a TV series, I usually NetFlix the DVDs and just chrun through them. I'm too busy for "appointment television".

If I have time to sit in front of the tube, I'm usually watchin' a movie or SpongeBob Square Pants with my daughter. I was watchin' SpongeBob before my daughter was even born, so I don't mind.

Once a week, I head to the "Man Cave" (my garage), light up a stogey, grab a six-pack and roll through a full MMA DVD. I'm still going through the PrideFC matches. I'll do the UFC after I'm done with PrideFC.
Steve Sanchez - February 6, 2009 at 9:51 am
Oh, man I'm pumped about this! Radach and Smith=Awesome. And I giggle a little every time I hear Frank Shamrock's name, so that's good too. Could Strikeforce have been the sleeper that's going be the next big thorn in Dana White's side?
Jugger- February 6, 2009 at 8:50 am
Radach looked great against Ninja Rua. Smith has his work cut out for him. I think Benji has a bright future.
Anonymous- February 6, 2009 at 7:51 am
mayhem420- February 6, 2009 at 7:35 am
Old, Bald and Irish:

Dude with shows like Dexter why would you even think about getting rid of Showtime? This whole deal only makes that station this much better now!
Still Frank Shamrock? Mehhh... I guess as long as he is not talking it wont be that bad.
Old, Bald and Irish- February 6, 2009 at 7:25 am
MAN!....this news just keeps getting better and better!

I am most certainly keeping my subscription to Showtime!

If Strikeforce rolls out this many events, I'll be happy as a clam. Right now, I'm REALLY interested to find out what kind of ratings Showtime is getting from live MMA events and the repeats. Something thells me these shows are selling themselves. just last night I re-watched one of EliteXC's first televised events. "Crazy Horse" Bennet was the main event! I catch all of the EliteXC/Strikeforce repeats. I guess others are too.

Strikeforce has a solid stable of fighters. If they can keep some of the better fighters in EliteXC's stable, they'll be in good shape.

I wonder if Strikforce will have a womens division? I sure hope so. Get that Cyborg vs Carrano match going!
Machete for hands- February 6, 2009 at 7:11 am

april seems like a good month