As Strikeforce closes in on their last major promotion of the decade, CEO Scott Coker recently laid out his company’s aggressive game plan for 2011. The soft-spoken promoter told USAToday they plan on holding a total of 20 shows in the next year, with half coming in their Challengers series.
That’s a slight increase for the UFC’s stateside rivals, as they will host their eighth major card of 2010 when “Henderson vs. Babalu II” goes down on December 4th. They arranged seven Challenger events this year.
Octagon president Dana White recently unleashed his plan of attack, as well. The sport’s most powerful figure predicted roughly 31 total events in 2011. While their tally may appear significantly higher than Strikeforce’s, the UFC added more shows due to the WEC merger.
The UFC held 24 fight cards in 2010 – including “numbered” shows, UFC Fight Nights and a two Versus specials – while the WEC hosted eight events.
Strikeforce’s next order of business is their highly coveted network deal. Unfortunately, “Strikeforce: Nashville” was the company’s biggest black mark and CBS hasn’t been back inside an MMA cage since last April’s debacle.
While the ‘eye channel’ has decided to drag their feet on another show, leading some insiders to believe they are done dealing with Strikeforce, Coker claims they will be on the network in the coming year.
“I think the relationship is good. You guys know what happened in Nashville. We’re going to revisit [the CBS relationship] in the beginning of the year. I think there are some other opportunities with CBS that we’re working on – let’s say we’re working on it together to do some other things,” Coker told Sherdog. “I think that probably, I don’t know maybe in the beginning of the year, we’ll have some things to announce.
“By no means is the relationship a bad relationship. It’s just we’re going to revisit it in the beginning of the year and take it from there.”
Speaking of partnerships, one would imagine signing the ever elusive Fedor Emelianenko to a contract extension would be priority number one. While they have negotiated for several months, the Russian still has just the one fight remaining on his current deal.