Report: Showtime close to ending Strikeforce deal, promotion could fold soon

Kyle Terada-US PRESSWIRE - Presswire

A story run by AXS TV's "Inside MMA" claims that, according to reliable sources, Showtime is looking to end its broadcasting relationship with Strikeforce, signaling what could be the fast approaching end to the Zuffa-owned promotion as we know it today.

It's been a rough month for Strikeforce and its fans.

In September, Strikeforce lightweight champion Gilbert Melendez made the decision to withdraw from his main event match opposite number one contender Pat Healy because of a badly separated shoulder.

The loss of the headlining bout prompted Showtime, Strikeforce's cable broadcasting partner, to cancel the event, stating a lack of interest in airing the card without the marquee match up.

That's not all.

The injury bug soon struck again when Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) heavyweight Frank Mir was forced to withdraw from his one-off "crossover" fight with Strikeforce heavyweight Daniel Cormier, which was scheduled to take place in Oklahoma City, Okla., on Nov. 3, 2012.

Cormier is still technically on the card and scheduled to fight; however, no opponent has been named with the event less than one month from today.

Sounds fishy.

To complicate matters even further, Strikeforce Middleweight champion, Luke Rockhold, announced yesterday that he, too, will be sidelined for his fight opposite Lorenz Larkin, which was scheduled to serve as the Nov. 3 card's co-main event.

The promotion is in turmoil. And a report surfaced the evening (courtesy of AXS TV's "Inside MMA"), claiming that reliable sources have stated a decaying relationship between Showtime and Strikeforce. If accurate, the Nov. 3 Strikeforce show is in serious danger of cancelation.

It could also mean that Strikeforce's end as a promotion may be drawing near more quickly than originally thought.

Here's the report, which was delivered by "Inside MMA's" Kenny Rice:

"'Inside MMA' has heard from multiple sources that the relationship between Strikeforce and Showtime may be coming to an end. We are being told that the November 3rd event is in serious jeopardy, and there's a strong possibility that Showtime will no longer broadcast Strikeforce events. This could very possibly signify the end of the Strikeforce brand. Strikeforce was purchased by Zuffa in March of 2011. We have to receive any word from either Showtime or Strikeforce as this development continues."

At this point in time, the report has been neither officially confirmed nor denied by the powers that be at Showtime or Strikeforce.

MMAmania.com will keep you updated as developments on this story continue to surface.

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