Zuffa officials Thursday confirmed that Strikeforce’s Jan. 12 event will be its last broadcast on premium cable network Showtime.
The news was originally reported last month, but Zuffa has remained silent on the matter until today. The promotion is also rumored to close its doors for good following the show, though Thursday’s announcement made no mention of that possibility. Headlined by a welterweight title collision between Nate Marquardt and Tarec Saffiedine, the event takes place at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City.
“Since 2009, Showtime has been a great partner, and we appreciate its support of Strikeforce and our athletes,” Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker said in the official release. “For our final event, we’ve loaded the card with some outstanding fights. This is going to be a memorable night for the sport of mixed martial arts.”
Promotion officials also announced that 13-time UFC veteran Ed Herman will lock horns with Ronaldo Souza, replacing an injured Lorenz Larkin. Additionally, Pat Healy, who was supposed to face Gilbert Melendez for the lightweight belt before “El Nino” withdrew due to injury, will remain on a card against a to-be-named opponent.
Herman, 32, returned to the Octagon last year after a lengthy recovery from knee surgery, posting a trio of victories over Tim Credeur, Kyle Noke and Clifford Starks before running into Jake Shields at UFC 150 this past August. However, “Short Fuse” saw that unanimous decision defeat changed to a no contest after Shields tested positive for a banned substance, thereby erasing the setback from his ledger.
A former Strikeforce middleweight champion, Souza, 33, has won back-to-back fights since relinquishing his belt to reigning king Luke Rockhold last year. “Jacare” showed off his superior submission skills in March, finishing Bristol Marunde with a third-round arm-triangle choke before knocking out Derek Brunson in just 41 seconds on Aug. 18.