One mixed martial arts promotion called it quits last week while another is enjoying record ratings on network television.
And it isn't the UFC.
The San Jose-based mixed martial arts promotion Strikeforce posted its highest ratings ever last Saturday night when 1.1 Million viewers tuned in to watch "Strikeforce on NBC."
The October 18 episode featured the light heavyweight rematch between Trevor Prangley and Anthony "A-Train" Ruiz from last month's "Strikeforce at the Mansion II" event at the infamous Playboy Mansion in Beverly Hills, California.
The thirty-minute program, which airs every Saturday following "Poker After Dark," debuted on April 12 of this year and has consistently received solid ratings, going as high as 949,000 viewers on May 9.
This latest spike in ratings couldn't have come at a better time and should alleviate a lot of anxiety for Strikeforce executives, especially in the wake of the recent implosion of is frequent co-promoter EliteXC.
Strikeforce Founder and CEO, Scott Coker had this to say about the program's success:
"It’s obviously great to see our product growing substantially on the network, but it’s more than just that. The consistently strong ratings we’ve seen are a sign that the sport of MMA is flourishing and continuing to gain new fans as its visibility grows on national television."
This success could eventually lead to NBC airing live, prime-time events similar to what CBS did with EliteXC. If so, the responsibility will rest on Strikeforce to make sure it doesn't make the same mistakes its predecessor did.
Time will tell.
In the meantime, this week's episode features the lightweight showdown between two of the company's best 155 pounders, Josh "The Punk" Thomson (16-2) and Gilbert "El Nino" Melendez (14-2), which took place at San Jose’s HP Pavilion on June 27th.
For all the latest on Strikeforce including their November 21 event 'Destruction' click here.