The UFC on FX 2, emanating from Sydney, drew an audience of 1.4 million viewers on Friday night, while Strikeforce: Tate vs. Rousey, featuring a high-profile title bout between Miesha Tate and Ronda Rousey, garnered just 431,000 viewers, according to MMAWeekly.com sources.
That number is fairly typical for a Strikeforce event on Showtime. The promotion hit its peak viewership with Fedor vs. Silva early in 2011, drawing 741,000 viewers. Other more common showings for Strikeforce were the likes of Henderson vs. Feijao at 412,000, Diaz vs. Daley at 528,000, and Melendez vs. Masvidal at 460,000.
Zuffa, which operates the UFC and Strikeforce, recently renewed Strikeforces agreement with Showtime with a promise from UFC president Dana White to step in and help build Strikeforce to something comparable to the UFC.
His efforts to help improve the brand were recently rejected by Showtime officials, however, leading him to go back to being all-UFC all the time.
“Tell Showtime, they run that (expletive), not me. I’m out. I’m 100-percent UFC,” he tweeted.
The UFC has already raided much of the top-tier talent from Strikeforce. Now, without the support of the UFC brass, that trend will likely continue. Can Strikeforce on Showtime survive?
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