The numbers are in for Strikeforce: "Miami," and they're pretty impressive.
USA Today passes along a report that last weekend's card drew 517,000 viewers, coming within 60,000 pairs of eyes from setting the all-time high for an MMA event on Showtime. The Gina Carano vs. Chris "Cyborg" Santos headlined Strikeforce event last summer brought in 576,000 viewers.
The last event that Strikeforce had prior to the Miami card, "Evolution," which was held last December, drew far less viewers ... 341,000 to be exact.
This event will no doubt be deemed a success, but much of the viewership can and should be attributed to the hype and buzz that NFL star Herschel Walker brought over, including a lot of love from the mother of all sports media outlets, ESPN.
And while it's nice for a growing MMA promotion to have big name attractions like Walker under contract, we all know that he's not someone that they can use to help build their brand going forward. It's still not known if Herschel will ever step inside the cage again.
But with top guys like Fedor Emelianenko, Gegard Mousasi, Dan Henderson, and Jake Shields all lined up for a big show in April on CBS, you can bet that Scott Coker and company will be happy to have those ratings used as Strikeforce's true measuring stick.