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Triple digit ticket sales worrisome for Strikeforce

(What, people weren’t lined up around the block to witness Keith Jardine’s striking finesse?)

Here’s a shocker: Strikeforce’s recent Rockhold vs Jardine offering didn’t exactly set the box office on fire.

If you tuned in earlier this month to watch Strikeforce: Rockhold vs. Jardine and wondered why the crowd appeared to be underwhelming at best it turns out you had a good reason to feel that way.

According to official numbers released by the Nevada State Athletic Commission, the promotion only sold 927 tickets for the event while giving away 1,065 and having another 727 left collecting dust. Also concerning, the total gate for the show was $68,805 while more than $400,000 was paid out to main card winners at the event (not to mention the money earned by preliminary competitors and losing fighters).

Interestingly enough, I have discovered a trend – and no, it is not “Strikeforce events suck and will never make money.” It’s that Vegas is a cold fish for smaller events like this and it’s been this way since the economy tanked. Even TUF finales held there fared poorly at the ticket booth – 1100 paid for TUF 14, 1500 for TUF 13, 1200 for TUF 12, and 1300 for TUF 10 (which featured Kimbo). When you compare Strikeforce to these, the 927 number doesn’t seem so terrible. It’s sucky, but it’s sucky like you’d expect from these Vegas shows.

That doesn’t mean Zuffa shouldn’t worry about their Showtime placeholder promotion becoming a money pit. The Barnett vs Kharitonov event at the US Bank Arena in Cincinnati bombed … fans at the event estimated less than 1500 people were in attendance. Who knows how many actually paid for that one. Strikeforce certainly paid – fighter salaries were $942,000. You don’t have to be an autistic Rainman type person to figure out those numbers don’t add up well.

Keep your eyes on how the Rousey v Tate fight in March does. Yeah, the one that’s no longer headlined by the finals of the heavyweight grand prix. That should tell us more about whether this is a Vegas problem or a Strikeforce problem.

  • agentsmith

    First Jardine rips off the Techno Viking’s look, and now his moves too.

  • DJ ThunderElbows

    Keep your eyes on how the Rousey v Tate fight in March does.

    I’m more interested in how much promotion they’ll put behind it.

  • Mixed Martial Adam

    If they did a Strikeforce event once every couple months in Toronto, they could easily sell 8-10,000+ seats for a well promoted card. Assuming that they keep tickets reasonable ($35-$250) I think the market is big enough here to keep people coming out. I’m sure it’s that way in a lot of regional areas where high level MMA shows are a rare event.

    Strikeforce should stay out of Vegas unless Gina comes back or BJ goes over.

  • Jarman

    ^BJ goes over? weird….haven’t heard of that. yet it makes a sick, weird kinda sense. Like kissin that cute second-cousin who you’re pretty sure is only related by marriage.

  • Letibleu

    interesting. Melendez vs BJ would be a worth watch for sure. Then what?


  • DJ ThunderElbows

    JZ, Noons and Thompson?

    I don’t see BJ wanting to fight any of those guys though.  Not in the least.

  • Mixed Martial Adam

    It’s a rumour on Middle Easy (which carries pretty much no weight), but still an interesting idea that BJ would go to Strikforce to take the belt off Melendez. It would also make sense with his current beef he has with Ceaser Gracie.

  • fightlinker

    It would be pretty sweet

  • mmaddict89

    no way penn would do that, too much of an ego to take a demotion