Now that M-1 Global has confirmed Fedor Emelianenko will not be showcased on Strikeforce’s April event, here are the likely scenarios for the San Jose-based organization and their biggest superstar.
If I were to put my financial thinking cap on, the much-talked about April 17th CBS broadcast would have to get pushed back until May because that’s when Team Fedor expects to meet Fabricio Werdum inside a Strikeforce cage.
Most questioned how MMA’s Junior Varsity would be able to afford Emelianenko’s hefty salary when they initially signed him last year, specifically when you take into account Strikeforce has yet to host a pay-per-view broadcast.
However, thanks to their exclusive deal with CBS, they were able to recoup some funds by way of advertisers in Emelianenko’s debut last August at “Strikeforce: Fedor vs. Rogers.”
Although the show didn’t garner as many viewers as Kimbo Slice’s CBS debut, the network giant still considered the night a great success and would clearly prefer, if not demand, that all future partnerships with Strikeforce feature the world’s baddest heavyweight.
That being said, it’s highly unlikely CBS would accept the middleweight title bout between champion Jake Shields and Dan Henderson as the main event for their follow-up broadcast with Strikeforce. Even if light heavyweight champ Gegard Mousasi were to co-headline the fight card, it’s still hard to believe that CBS would bite.
As of now, Strikeforce has yet to announce the date, venue, any fights or if CBS will indeed broadcast the April event. However, Shields and Hendo have confirmed their set to square-off in April, so at least that’s a start.
MMAFighting.com’s Mike Chiappetta spoke with a representative from Showtime and said “they’re working towards a big April,'” but nothing has been finalized.
Sounds to me like Showtime is set to step-in and air the April card which will be headlined by the Shields/Henderson title fight – likely destined to land on the 17th inside the Sommet Center in Nashville, Tennessee. Strikeforce will then have an extra month-ish to formulate the appropriate roster to compliment Fedor on a CBS event in May.
Make sense? Strikeforce is hoping it makes dollars…