The UFC, possibly seeing Strikeforce in a weakened position due to it’s not so sizzle CBS lineup, has already leaked it’s intent to throw a counter event on April 17, the same date as Strikeforce’s second CBS card. At the moment there are a bunch more rumors, and lets go through them one by one:
The event will feature Matt Serra vs Mike Swick: This one might have been the plan but it’s already come off the rails since Swick is prepping for elbow surgery.
The event will feature James Toney vs Kimbo Slice: Again, it seems like this is the big rumor floating around but it sounds very bullshit. First off, James Toney is already planning a boxing fight in April to ‘get the rust off’, and while Toney is nuts I doubt his coach Juanito Ibarra will let Toney agree to such a quick fight. Plus – and this is the big reason why this probably won’t happen…
The event will be on Spike: Well, duh. The UFC is looking to torpedo Strikeforce’s ratings enough to kill CBS’s interest in showing more MMA. The best way to do this is having the event on Spike. This one’s a no-brainer. Of course the event will be on Spike. But that means no PPV cut, which points to no Toney.
Strikeforce might change it’s date to the 24th: I guess they could, but I don’t think they will. As ‘mobile’ as they claim the date to be, you have to imagine it’s a gigantic pain in the ass especially with tickets having just gone on sale today. But the Sommet Centre in Nashville seems free on the 24th, and CBS isn’t exactly doing anything interesting on any Saturday nights ever. Strikeforce tried to be the nice guys by not counter promoting the WEC ppv and are really paying the price here. It makes perfect sense to move and move now, but for whatever reason Scott Coker doesn’t sound like he’s prepping to move.
The UFC’s show will also be in Nashville: According to Sherdog, who have peeps inside Spike, that’s the plan. Whether this can happen or not is a stretch though, as Tennessee’s athletic commission is still green and they’ve stated they don’t know if they can regulate two events of such size on the same night. You’d kinda hope they’d be the grownups in this situation and refuse on the grounds of the UFC being gigantor cocks, but I’ve got a feeling Marc Ratner and the gang can be pretty persuasive.
This all has the vibe of a big game of chicken, and if Scott Coker was smart he’d blink right now and move his shit to the 24th. Not picking that date in the first place was a nice but weak move on their part. The UFC has already shown they’re in this game to kill Strikeforce and Strikeforce has really served them their throat up on a silver platter with the date and the weak card on CBS. We can already look at past ratings for MMA on CBS and see the Strikeforce card isn’t going to do all that great. Add in a half decent UFC card on Spike to the mix and it could very well be enough for CBS to decide it’s sick of trying to get into the MMA biz with the UFC sitting there ready to trip them up at every opportunity.