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UFC Looking to Counter-Program Strikeforce in April; Strikeforce Could Retaliate Against WEC Pay-Per-View

(Now there’s a couple of guys you wouldn’t want to run into in a dark boardroom.)

What, you thought that Strikeforce could put together a stacked card on CBS featuring three title fights, one involving former UFC star Dan Henderson, and Dana White would just stand there and take it like a bitch? C’mon, son. As first reported by Dave Meltzer of, the UFC is planning to set up a counter-programming show on April 17th — the scheduled date of Strikeforce: Nashville — which will likely air on Spike TV. No matchups are official yet, but a welterweight bout between Matt Serra and Mike Swick is in the works. While the Spike event would likely get blown out by Strikeforce’s CBS show in overall ratings, Meltzer explains the reasoning like this:

"OK, they go head-to-head, they will lose to the CBS show and they know that they will lose and some people will go, “Well, God, look at that! UFC lost!” and I think that their mentality is like, well if we lose but the CBS show does like a 2.1 rating, CBS is still going to be squeamish about “Do we really want to do this show again with a 2.1 rating?” So if they widdle down the rating a little bit, then it’s a win even though they will lose on the night."

Good plan, right? There’s just one problem: Scott Coker might not play along.

As the Strikeforce CEO told MMA Junkie: "CBS had an opportunity to do the fight on the 24th and go after the WEC pay-per-view date, and they said, ‘No, let’s just do it on the 17th and be nice guys.’ Now that the counter-programming is coming their way, I think there is some fluidity in what could happen."

If you ask us, Coker and CBS should have seen this coming, and counter-programming WEC 48 should have been their plan from the get-go. Instead of waiting for the UFC to cut into their audience then gloat about how they beat Strikeforce in key ratings demographics, Strikeforce could enjoy an unqualified blowout over an overpriced WEC pay-per-view that will be lucky to break 100,000 buys. It’s still possible that Strikeforce will stick to their 4/17 date in an attempt to avoid a larger conflict with the UFC — which would be unfortunate, because this is the perfect opportunity for Strikeforce to go from being the nail to being the hammer.

Related: Scott Coker says that despite some "cultural differences," the relationship between Strikeforce and M-1 is still solid, and he expects Fedor Emelianenko to compete again in Strikeforce "sometime in the later part of the second quarter or beginning part of the third quarter."

Cagepotato Comments

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Lorenzoe553- March 5, 2010 at 1:41 pm
mostly out of respect for the fighters. i do think theyd make more money if they didnt just have it broadcast on cable and actually put a fee on it. not as much as they have it because that is too much for something that people haven't really seen yet. the world of course would love to see the fights for free (including me), but these guys are great in their divisions and they bust their asses as much as the ufc guys and alot of them show it in each of their fights. the ufc guys started off as a paper view and no one complained, granted it probably wasnt as much as the wec is charging now but these guys are also far beyond the level of those guys in the original ufc as well. true fans should understand this.
mma fan- March 5, 2010 at 1:28 pm
curious lorenzoe553 why do you think the wec should make their events pay-per view? I agree the events are pretty good. talented pool of fighters. are you saying this just because you think it would help the fighters get paid more money? by the way I do understand that zuffa runs the ufc and wec as 2 seperate companies.
MMAINMYBLOOD- March 5, 2010 at 12:04 pm
Id also love to see Coker and White fight and the winner can fight finkelschtein or what ever Fedors managers name is... cuz that will be the closest we get to seeing Fedor in the UFC....
MMAINMYBLOOD- March 5, 2010 at 12:01 pm
I wouldn't pay for the wec ppv to start with ...the only fighter I like watching is Miguel Torres. I would love to see him put on some weight and then move up to 155 he looks like he just got out of Auschwitz, (sorry Mike Swick if you read this and it offends you). But just watch people, the "cultural differences" are just the beginning of the end for M1 and Strike force. I find it very funny that Fedor is off the card Gegard is still on it... after he left M1 management... and coincidentally after he left the Jackson me crazy but I actually believe Dana White when he says he is trying to get Mousasi in the UFC. What you guys think?
Seoul Brother- March 5, 2010 at 11:41 am
Nothing meaner than a double fisted Mindy Cohn. Oops. That's Scott Coker.
Durden- March 5, 2010 at 11:24 am
Dana looks like a dude who drinks cranberryjuice at a night out and Coker just looks like a pedophile
Lorenzoe553- March 5, 2010 at 11:07 am
i actually think the wec are making the right decision in making their events payper views. but they should lower the price a bit because they havnt gotten everyones attention yet and fans are starting to turn away because of the high price . wec fighters arent getting nearly as much as the ufc guys are and there events on average do tend to be pretty good.
munche- March 5, 2010 at 11:02 am
Swick isn't fighting Serra, he confirmed on his twitter that he's going in for arm surgery
Lorenzoe553- March 5, 2010 at 10:56 am
@world championwannabe- i agree. i think seeing him fight aoki should be a great fight.
mma fan- March 5, 2010 at 10:55 am
I think what Coker and the rest of the Strikeforce company are doing for mma is great for all the fans. We get to watch more mma and get to watch it for free! Plus they are trying to get some talented fighters on their roster and provide fans with some quality fights. They are going up against the UFC and have been doing well so far. I commend them and I think Scott Coker is doing an amazing job!

When I first heard Zuffa was putting the WEC events on Pay-per view it got me pretty angry. Yes they put on free events on Spike,but all the UFC events charge the consumer $50.00 ( for sometimes sub par fights ) and now to make more money they are charging for WEC events. Don't you think that's a little greedy? Reel in the fans and now charge them.
Your telling me Zuffa as a company isn't making enough money already? I understand there is alot of overhead but all shows get sold out, great pay-per view buys, merchandising etc. Obviously they are doing just fine which is the reason why they never reveal any financial stats when Dana or Lorenzo are interviewed. Plus the 10% of the company that they sold to that Abu Dhabi media company for hundreds of millions of dollars will definitely help.

sorry for the rant but I am a frustrated fan that is obviously not happy that they are now charging for a WEC event. It's absurd in my opinion and I would think many other mma fans would agree.

worldchampwannabe- March 5, 2010 at 10:50 am
@ Lorenzoe553 - Good points but I think that Strikforce is a growing organization and is doing really great things in the shadow of the UFC monster. Do I think Melendez could beat Penn? Only if Penn was shitfaced off of taro root whiskey. But, I still have respect for Melendez, he is tough as hell and trains with some great fighters (not including Jose Consaco of course)
Lorenzoe553- March 5, 2010 at 10:12 am
if your referring to me i did say i like strikeforce and added a few things to support it. i could like football that doesnt mean i like watching 10 year olds playing it in the park as opposed to the nfl.
robthom- March 5, 2010 at 9:45 am
"Just goes to show the difference between MMA fans, and UFC fans."

An fan of MMA is a fan of UFC and Strikeforce.

A fanboy can only glom onto one or the other, and is not an MMA fan.
agentsmith- March 5, 2010 at 9:17 am
April 17th is exactly 6 weeks away, and as far as we know, Mike Swick is still in Thailand. That makes for a short training camp.
knucklesamitch- March 5, 2010 at 9:07 am
I'm going to have to agree with meanfinger...just because Showtime and CBS are both owned by the same company doesn't mean there's just one production crew...CBS has it's own production crew, cameras, etc.

It may be true that the company as a whole doesn't want to counter program its boxing vs. it's MMA, but that's BS anyway...CBS is going after casual viewers, many of which may not even have Showtime. Not to mention, the quality of that Super 6 tournament is bogus anyway.
The Hammer- March 5, 2010 at 9:07 am
Conspiracy theory for you guys: M-1 is working for the casino the fertitas own and sucking all of the UFC's competition dry in order to keep the fertitas' casino money flowing in since gambling isn't!!! Oh and nice try coker we all knew you were lying so you could play the victim and try and get some fans on your side for the night I want to watch the hendo fight personally but I am kinda reconsidering now that coker is bein a school boy bitch
Lorenzoe553- March 5, 2010 at 9:06 am
strikeforce just "allows" their fighters to fight in other events for exposure and to keep them happy. ufc knows theyre the place to be. best tallent, and best money for most. why would they allow one of their fighters to go somewhere else and fight if a) that promotes other orginazations and b) should their fighter somehow lose that could make the other orginazation look good and the ufc look bad (when gilbert melendez(strikeforce champ) fights shinya aoki(dream champ) it should be a great fight, but theyre gonna show that one of them isn't really a champion because he's lost to the other and theirfore his title doesnt really count for much in my opinion at least and i apoligize if you disagree. theirs not alot of good for the ufc or their fighter to go out to another organization and fight. what would they prove? "that theyre better". i like strikeforce but other than the heavyweights, all their other fighters are second rate to the ufc fighters, most of their champs would struggle with anyone in the ufc top 10 of their division, theyd be the underdog against a top 5 fighter and theyd have no shot against ufc champions. again my opinion and if u disagree i dont mean to offend you and i apologize.
meanfinger- March 5, 2010 at 8:59 am
dont u think CBS could get something together production wise.. it would be on their channel.
ArmFarmer- March 5, 2010 at 8:39 am
And are repayed by having one of their belts spend 3 years in Japan...
flrrrhoffpauir- March 5, 2010 at 8:37 am
aarondramp is correct
worldchampwannabe- March 5, 2010 at 8:30 am
I'd love to see Strikeforce do well. They are a really good organization and they don't rape and pillage the fighters themselves, they let them fight on other promotions when they want. They help fighters grow instead of limiting them.
aarondramp- March 5, 2010 at 8:10 am
Scott Coker is BS'ing...the reason they picked the 17th is because Showtime (owned by the same company as CBS) is showing the Super Six boxing on the 24th. That means the same production crew is already in use on the 24th.

Not to mention, CBS/Showtime seems to think that boxing and MMA are the same (with the same audience), so they don't want to counter-program themselves.
BONGTAR THE GREAT- March 5, 2010 at 7:29 am
glad i have a DVR
Robocop Didnt Tap- March 5, 2010 at 7:23 am
Remember when Dana said he had no problem with Strikeforce and wished them luck doing their thing? Then they signed Fedor...
DAN THE VIKING- March 5, 2010 at 6:56 am
Take em out Dana?
While I would hope this isnt everyones opinion, Im sure its the majority one.
Just goes to show the difference between MMA fans, and UFC fans.