With Thursday’s official announcement that Fedor Emelianenko would be making his Strikeforce debut against Brett Rogers on CBS, the promotion all but ensured they’ll be safe from any live UFC counter-programing efforts.
When the organization originally confirmed Fedor’s first fight inside of a cage would go down in November, UFC president Dana White promptly threw out the idea of putting on a free event that same month as well.
Unfortunately for the UFC, Strikeforce has picked up where EliteXC left off and will broadcast their biggest event in history for free on CBS which makes any attempt by the UFC to steer away viewers almost impossible.
Although, don’t be surprised if the UFC re-airs a previous UFC pay-per-view event for free, most likely UFC 101 or UFC 102, on Spike TV as they have done countless times in the past. However, the impact of putting on a replayed event against a live “Fedor vs. Rogers” card won’t be nearly as powerful as Anderson Silva’s live free event that the UFC put up against “Affliction: Banned.”
So the UFC will miss out on one weekend of live MMA action. No big deal because they will already be hosting two pay-per-view events (UFC 106, UFC 107), as well as WEC 44 in the month of November.
For now, 11/7/09 looks like it will be Strikeforce’s night to shine, and Fedor’s opportunity to finally break into the U.S. market and solidify himself as the world’s greatest heavyweight of all-time.