Fedor Emelianenko and Brett Rogers made cameo appearances at Soldier Field during the Cleveland Browns vs. Chicago Bears football game on Sunday. Their appearance is expected to mark the beginning of a hectic media week to hype the, somewhat under-advertised, Strikeforce card which takes place this coming Saturday, November 7th in Chicago, Illinois.
Apart from a few commercials here and there, very few advertisements have been seen on CBS to promote Emelianenko’s U.S. primetime debut. Considering this is the most important card in Strikeforce’s brief history, they better get cracking.
The main event between Emelianenko and Rogers has garnered most of the attention, and deservedly so. However, based off the marketing strategy implemented by CBS, their fellow main card fighters have received no light.
There has been no mention of the middleweight title fight between Jake Shields and Jason “Mayhem” Miller, beyond Miller’s constant Twitter posts, of course. For hardcore MMA fans, the fight is rather significant and should be treated as such.
In addition to the five-round middleweight affair, little mention has been made about the heavyweight bout between Fabricio Werdum and Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva. This too is an important fight as the winner will surely be in title contention along with the winner of the Emelianenko/Rogers fight. Although the latter will likely get first dibs at Alistair Overeem’s heavyweight belt, either Werdum or Silva could be right behind them for a shot.
MMA’s most unknown superstar, Gegard Mousasi, is probably suffering most from the lack of publicity. Not many American fans know about this lethal light heavyweight and CBS is certainly not doing him any favors. His fight with Rameau Thierry Sokoudjuo could be explosive, however most don’t even know it’s on the card.
Apparently, winning tournaments in Japan does not translate to marketability in the U.S. for both of these fighters.
The job done by CBS to advertise this event has been one with little effort. None of the fighters on the main card deserve to be treated like under card participants, but CBS has done nothing to prevent that. This reporter is hoping that, in the future, network television does its part for MMA and help, not hinder, the sport’s growth.
The fighters and fans deserve it. You know the UFC isn’t cutting any corners.