Both Bellator and the Zuffa-owned Strikeforce held events on Saturday.
Strikeforce held its Heavyweight Grand Prix semi-finals, televised on Showtime, with an official payout of nearly $1,000,000 in fighter purses. According to MMAJunkie, Strikeforce’s Showtime broadcasts have averaged 453,000 viewers. Further, the first two grand prix events averaged 628,500 viewers, and were the top-rated broadcasts in Strikeforce-Showtime history.
Thus it was a stunner on Saturday when the show drew just 274,000 viewers, the second worst major Strikeforce event performance since the Showtime deal began.
King Mo commented on the spectators. “The turnout tonight was bad, man. The only people that we here tonight and cheering were Daniel Cormier and I’s friends. They were associates, teammates and people that came in from Texas and Louisiana to support us. You could hear them cheering for us, but other than that? I don’t know man ... It was sad. There was like, what? Two-thousand people there? ... I thought Strikeforce was a cancer patient, Man, it's a damn AIDS patient."
The Bellator 49 event on MTV2, which kicked off the organization's season-five welterweight tournament, drew 235,000 viewers. An immediate MTV2 replay drew 153,000 viewers.
With numbers like that, Bellator is expected step up from MTV2 to Spike.
But with numbers like Strikeforce's, and the lack of a champion at welterweight, at light heavyweight, and at heavyweight, it appears that King Mo is right - Strikeforce is terminally ill as an international, or even national promotion.
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