The Lack of Interest for Strikeforce: Rockhold vs. Kennedy Was to Be Expected
Unless you're a hardcore MMA fan who scours the internet for any little bit of fight news you can sink your teeth into, you may not know there's a Strikeforce event on July 14—a pretty good one, too.
Light-heavyweight champion Luke Rockhold is taking on Tim Kennedy, and Tyron Woodley will throw down with former UFC top contender Nate Marquardt for the vacant welterweight title.
Also on the card is a pretty interesting fight between grappling phenom Roger Gracie and the awkwardly entertaining Keith Jardine, and a slugger's delight with Robbie Lawler taking on Lorenz Larkin.
It may seem curious that this event, which features two title fights being contested on the second largest stage in the sport, is getting so little attention. But it's really not. It was to be expected.
It's not your fault if you don't know about it, of course. With two UFC events going down within the past week, there just wasn't enough promotional wiggle-room at Zuffa for them to put much marketing effort behind this event.
And it shows.
Not only is there absolutely zero buzz about this show, but MMAJunkie was on the scene at the pre-fight press conference and described a doomsday scenario.
Heck, Wikipedia didn't even bother making a page for it.
We could point to the usual culprits: Over-saturation, lack of marketing, etc. And those things do matter. But really, this is just a matter of Strikeforce being viewed for exactly what it is—a second-rate promotion.
That's not to disparage the fighters. Not at all. Luke Rockhold is an immense talent who will be an awesome addition to the UFC middleweight division, not if, but when Strikeforce closes up shop. So will Kennedy. But they're fighting in an organization that has lost its luster since being scooped up by Zuffa.
Despite all the "business as usual" rhetoric, the UFC gutted Strikeforce for almost all of its top talent. How could they possibly thrive, let alone survive?
Because of the lack of interest in this event, it will probably do garbage ratings. It's simple: If no one knows it's on, they can't watch it.
Strikeforce has simply run its course. The Showtime deal is good through 2012. After that, Strikeforce is going away.
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