(PRESS RELEASE) -- Las Vegas, Nevada – STRIKEFORCE® welterweight champion and seasoned UFC® veteran Nate Marquardt will defend his title against current number one contender Tarec Saffiedine on Saturday, Jan. 12 as STRIKEFORCE® visits Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Okla. In the night’s co-main event, Oklahoma State University All-American wrestler and STRIKEFORCE Grand Prix heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier takes on kickboxing veteran Dion Staring. The event will air live on SHOWTIME at 10 p.m. ET/PT (delayed on the West Coast) as part of the premium network’s Free Preview Weekend whereby more than 80 million households nationwide will have access to SHOWTIME, SHOWTIME HD, SHOWTIME ON DEMAND and more.
This will mark the final STRIKEFORCE event on SHOWTIME.
“Since 2009, SHOWTIME has been a great partner and we appreciate its support of STRIKEFORCE and our athletes,” Scott Coker, STRIKEFORCE CEO, said. “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.”
“We are proud of our association with Scott Coker and the entire STRIKEFORCE team,” said Stephen Espinoza, Executive Vice President and General Manager, SHOWTIME Sports. “From Gina Carano to Ronda Rousey, Fedor Emelianenko to Daniel Cormier, Nick Diaz to Gilbert Melendez, SHOWTIME Sports and STRIKEFORCE have built some of the biggest stars in the sport and have produced many of the most watched and most intriguing fights in the history of MMA. We look forward to another night of competitive and explosive STRIKEFORCE fights on SHOWTIME on January 12 in OKC.”
In addition to the main and co-main events, STRIKEFORCE® will also feature the following matchups that include several past champions and many of the sports top prospects:
· Former UFC heavyweight champion Josh Barnett meets Austrian powerhouse Nandor Guelmino
· Former light heavyweight champ Gegard Mousasi takes on the heavy-handed Mike Kyle
· Former middleweight champ Ronaldo Souza faces UFC star Ed Herman
· Top lightweight contender Pat Healy will be in action against an opponent yet to be determined
· Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt Roger Gracie takes on talented striker Anthony Smith at middleweight
· U.S. Army Ranger Tim Kennedy vs. Trevor Smith in a fight involving top middleweights
· Elite kickboxer K.J. Noons meets second-generation star Ryan Couture in a lightweight matchup
· Cincinnati’s Jorge Gurgel is set to battle Brazilian prospect Adriano Martins at lightweight
· At lightweight, winner of four straight Estevan Payan vs. Team Alpha Male’s Michael Bravo
STRIKEFORCE® will air live on SHOWTIME® at 10 p.m. ET/PT (delayed on the West Coast), while preliminary fights will be shown live on SHOWTIME EXTREME® at 8 p.m. ET/PT (delayed on West Coast). Additional fights scheduled for the event are expected to be released shortly.
Tickets for STRIKEFORCE® are on sale now and are priced at $150, $100, $70 and $50. Tickets are available at the Chesapeake Energy Arena box office, all Ticketmaster locations, at Ticketmaster.com or 1-800-745-3000. Applicable service charges may apply.
For more information or the latest STRIKEFORCE news, visit www.strikeforce.com. All bouts live and subject to change.
About STRIKEFORCE® - www.strikeforce.com Owned and operated by Forza, LLC, a subsidiary of Zuffa, LLC, which also owns the Ultimate Fighting Championship® brand, STRIKEFORCE® is a world-class mixed martial arts promotion based in Las Vegas, Nev. that currently holds live events annually across the United States. First established as a mixed martial arts entity in 2006, STRIKEFORCE now broadcasts its events live on SHOWTIME® and has produced two live, primetime events on the CBS Television Network. With a growing roster featuring the world’s elite competitors, STRIKEFORCE has cemented its place as a leader in providing quality mixed martial arts action.
About Showtime Networks Inc. Showtime Networks Inc. (SNI), a wholly-owned subsidiary of CBS Corporation, owns and operates the premium television networks SHOWTIME®, THE MOVIE CHANNEL™ and FLIX®, as well as the multiplex channels SHOWTIME 2™, SHOWTIME® SHOWCASE, SHOWTIME EXTREME®, SHOWTIME BEYOND®, SHOWTIME NEXT®, SHOWTIME WOMEN®, SHOWTIME FAMILY ZONE® and THE MOVIE CHANNEL™ XTRA. SNI also offers SHOWTIME HD™, THE MOVIE CHANNEL™ HD, SHOWTIME ON DEMAND® and THE MOVIE CHANNEL™ ON DEMAND. SNI also manages Smithsonian Networks, a joint venture between SNI and the Smithsonian Institution, which offers Smithsonian Channel™. All SNI feeds provide enhanced sound using Dolby Digital 5.1. SNI markets and distributes sports and entertainment events for exhibition to subscribers on a pay-per-view basis through SHOWTIME PPV®.
Chesapeake Energy Arena: Chesapeake Energy Arena is celebrating its 10-year anniversary in 2012 and recently completed a more than $90 million renovation that included a new grand entrance and other significant upgrades. The arena is managed by SMG, which since 1977 has provided management services to more than 220 public assembly facilities including arenas, stadiums, theatres and performing arts centers, equestrian facilities and convention, congress and exhibition centers.