One can generally rely on big-name matches in MMA to deliver the goods – and that’s exactly what Strikeforce needs to display as they continue their foray into mainstream exposure via CBS (and Showtime). Will the recently confirmed fight with Dan Henderson (25-7) going up against middleweight champ Jake Shields (24-4-1) assist in keeping momentum pumping?
Number one pound-for-pound fighter Fedor’s fight with Brett Rogers served up plenty of ratings but a lack of depth in divisional rosters is upping the pressure of securing high profile bouts that rattle the keyboards of both hardcore fans and newcomers. The absence of quality Internet and television advertising is being noticed by all of us who are used to event info being readily accessible. Whether it’s a big UFC announcement or even a King of the Cage (KOTC) show, there’s little effort required in staying updated. A few SF tweets here and there show some interest in initiating compelling dissemination but in this age it’s just not enough.
Relying solely on an event to deliver MMA brand establishment with loyal fans is a gamble on something as uncertain in all of sports while marketing is a inexpensive as ever and is sure-fire when performed even at an semi-dedicated level.
The UFC has it right with hyping every main event, co-main event and even under cards by informing fans on who’s fighting when and why it’s worth watching. The UFC explains the value in patronizing their events, while Strikeforce has not.
Hendo’s brutal knockout victory over Michael Bisping back at UFC 100 has made his personal brand red-hot as of late while Shields continues to suffer from “boring” chants echoed by fans uninterested with his arguably vanilla showings inside the cage. Putting these two highly skilled athletes together in a title shot makes sense and has me personally quite interested but if it’s anything like Jake’s previous match against Mayhem Miller (lay ‘n’ pray-fest) could let some air out of the organization’s tires.