On January 12, the Strikeforce crew will set up the six-sided cage one final time before the promotion closes its doors for good. Strikeforce: Marquardt vs. Saffiedine is a stacked card that features some of the biggest names on the roster, and the event will now take place on free TV.
The Showtime network has long been the home of Strikeforce, but the subscription-based premium network is only available to those willing to pay an additional fee on their monthly cable or satellite provider. With 22 million subscribers, the most recent card, Rousey vs. Kaufman, peaked with 676,000 viewers.
However, by running a free preview weekend from January 11 through January 13, the final Strikeforce card will be available free of charge in more than 80 millions homes across the United States.
Headlined by a welterweight championship fight between UFC veteran Nate Marquardt and 13-3 Tarec Saffiedine, the card also features high-profile talent such as Daniel Cormier, Josh Barnett and Gegard Mousasi. In addition, an inter-promotional matchup between UFC middleweight Ed Herman and former Strikeforce middleweight champion Ronaldo Souza kicks off the main card.
While this free preview weekend is a major gift for MMA fans, it is designed to coincide with the season premieres of hit Showtime programs Shameless, House of Lies and Californication.
But who are we to look a gift horse in the mouth? Regardless of why we are getting the final Strikeforce card for free, as MMA fans, it's time to be thankful.
Strikeforce: Marquardt vs. Saffiedine takes place on January 12 and the main card will air live on Strikeforce beginning at 10 p.m. EST. Four preliminary fights will be aired on Showtime Extreme immediately prior and will feature the likes of Roger Gracie, Tim Kennedy, KJ Noons and Pat Healy.