Saturday night’s fight between Fedor Emelianenko and Dan Henderson lived up to expectations and more in regards to the excitement factor, but while Strikeforce & M-1 Global: Fedor vs. Henderson pulled in strong TV ratings, it didn’t vie for the top spot during Strikeforce’s tenure on Showtime.
Fedor vs. Henderson drew an audience of 571,000 viewers, but the top spot for Strikeforce on Showtime still goes to Fedor for his fight with Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva in February. That event pulled in 741,000 viewers.
While the ratings for Fedor’s fights have been solid, the bout with Henderson has to be one of, if not the most expensive fight the promotion has run on Showtime. The two fighters combined for just south of $2.5 million according to a report from ESPN.com. That’s well above what the UFC pays its entire fighter payroll, not including bonuses or other contractual stipulations, for most pay-per-view events
Henderson TKO’d Fedor just past four minutes into the opening round after the two took turns rocking each other in the non-stop opening minutes of the fight.
With Fedor having lost three consecutive bouts and Henderson, Strikeforce’s light heavyweight champion, completing his contract, it’s unclear what the future holds for either. But even the strong TV ratings don’t seem to justify the payout for a non-pay-per-view event.