Strikeforce Paying Canceled Card Fighters?
There’s a report that Strikeforce is paying the fighters who were scheduled on the now-canceled Showtime card that was set for this Saturday. After Lightweight Champion Gilbert Melendez pulled out due to injury, and Showtime apparently felt without that main event they wouldn’t pull in the viewers, Showtime refused to air the card, and without a television partner, revenues would suffer and the event was canceled.
The Showtime contract with Strikeforce is (surprise!) exclusive, so they weren’t able to find another television outlet, according to Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker.
Event cancellation is a big deal. (Ask Affliction veterans or former EliteXC fighters about it) Most MMA promotions run on such tight budgets (relatively speaking) that one event cancellation can be a severe financial blow and throw them into trouble.
There have been some questions about whether this signals the end of Strikeforce. There is a narrative out there that since the UFC bought them, it’s only a matter of time before we see them absorbed into the larger, more successful promotion.
It appears that, by this gesture, Strikeforce is making a statement that they are financially sound, as an organization, and that they take care of their own. Of course, since the company is owned by Zuffa (parent to the UFC), it is possible that it doesn’t have the same level of risk associated with its events that a similar promotion might have.
This is great news for the fighters, since many put off work to train, and there are a lot of expenses involved in putting together a proper training camp. It hasn’t been released how much they’re paying the fighters, full fight purse or partial, but it’s something and since they haven’t fought, they’ll likely be ready to fight again soon, say in the next event in November….
Strikeforce maintains goodwill with it’s fighters, gets some good publicity and is able to put together a hell of a card in November. That’s making the best of a bad situation!