With a conference call upcoming, it was just announced via email that Strikeforce, Zuffa and Showtime have come to a new agreement to keep the mixed martial arts promotion on the pay network:
Showtime Networks Inc. and world championship mixed martial arts (MMA) promotion STRIKEFORCE® have entered into a new broadcast agreement to continue producing live MMA events on the premium television network, SHOWTIME. The agreement was announced jointly today by Stephen Espinoza, Executive Vice President and General Manager, SHOWTIME Sports®, Dana White, UFC® President, and Scott Coker, STRIKEFORCE CEO.
Under the new agreement, SHOWTIME will produce and televise up to eight live events. STRIKEFORCE athletes such as lightweight champion Gilbert Melendez, middleweight champion Luke Rockhold, women's featherweight champion Cris "Cyborg" Santos, women's bantamweight champion Miesha Tate and other world-class MMA fighterswill continue to compete for the organization on SHOWTIME.
The new deal kicks off during the network's Free Preview Weekend, Saturday, Jan. 7, as champion Rockhold defends the STRIKEFORCE 185-pound title against dangerous veteran Keith Jardine at The Joint at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, live on SHOWTIME at 10 p.m. ET/PT. Notable STRIKEFORCE contenders such as Robbie Lawler, "King Mo" Lawal and Tyron Woodley are also set to compete on the televised card, which—as part of Free Preview Weekend—willbe available in more than 60 million households nationwide across SHOWTIME, SHOWTIME HD™ and SHOWTIME On Demand®.
Beginning with the Jan. 7 card, SHOWTIME will also televise undercard fights for all STRIKEFORCE events live on SHOWTIME EXTREME