(He thought that the throne would give him pleasure; the salesgirl at Pier 1 Imports specifically told him it would. But as he sunk deeper into the red velvet and began to watch the America’s Got Talent semi-finals, a tremendous ennui overtook him. Photo courtesy of Esther Lin/Showtime.)
Here we are, one month after Carano vs. Cyborg, and we still don’t know when Strikeforce is going to put on its next big event. October 10 has been floated as a tentative date for Fedor vs. Rogers, but it hasn’t been made official yet, and it would only give Strikeforce a month to promote the card. (Assuming Strikeforce starts promoting it today, hypothetically.) The hesitation is an unfortunate momentum-killer for Scott Coker & Co., but the reason for the delay is obvious: The longer Strikeforce waits, the more difficult it would be for the UFC to counter-program them with an impromptu live event. When you consider that Anderson Silva may not really be having elbow surgery and could potentially be unleashed at any time to headline a card on Spike TV, this is a very legitimate concern.
So yesterday, Michael Rome at Bloody Elbow had an eyebrow-raising solution: Strikeforce should schedule Fedor vs. Rogers on November 21st, the same night as UFC 106, which will of course feature Brock Lesnar vs. Shane Carwin and Tito Ortiz vs. Mark Coleman. Why wait for the UFC to be the aggressor? After all:
Showtime can easily advertise the fact that you have a simple choice that night: you can pay $50 to see a WWE superstar who doesn’t even know how to fight, or you can see the greatest fighter in MMA history on Showtime…If they do that, there will be a mountain of press covering the entire Fedor vs. Brock situation, and who is the more legitimate champion. And whose side do you think most reporters are going to come down on?…Dana can’t help himself, he’ll go berserk if they do this, and it will drive a ton of publicity for their event. Further, even though UFC 106 has the potential to do over a million buys, that’s still just a million households. That’s far less than would watch some big Spike TV show, and you’re offering a cheap alternative to their expensive product. The success barometer for Fedor’s first fight is probably the 400,000 viewer mark, a level that a press avalanche could push them across.