Strikeforce had intended to go out with a bang, but that bang fizzled to a barely audible pop by the time injuries ravaged last Saturday night’s fight card in Oklahoma City, Okla.
Strikeforce: Marquardt vs. Saffiedine was originally dubbed the moniker “Champions.” All three of the promotions current titleholders were supposed to have fought on the card: Gilbert Melendez, Luke Rockhold, and, at that time, Nate Marquardt, along with Heavyweight Grand Prix champion Daniel Cormier.
When Melendez and Rockhold both withdrew due to injury, and no major names would step up to fight Cormier, Strikeforce officials revamped the card to feature its welterweight championship between Nate Marquardt and Tarec Saffiedine.
The revamped card held the event together after the promotion’s prior two events were scrapped due to injuries. It was enough to keep the event intact, but not enough to deliver much by way of TV ratings on Showtime.
Even though it was a “freeview” weekend for Showtime, Strikeforce: Marquardt vs. Saffiedine drew just 310,000 viewers for the final event in the promotion’s history, according to MMAWeekly.com industry sources.
To put that in perspective, Rousey vs. Kaufman drew 529,000 viewers to Strikeforce’s most recent previous effort on Showtime, while Rockhold vs. Kennedy even drew better at 420,000 viewers.
There were certain markets that only offered the Showtime freeview weekend as part of its ancillary content, such as only on-demand content, and did not offer the actual Showtime channels for viewing, which limited the event’s reach.