Showtime Reaches New Deal with MMA Organization Strikeforce

Publish date:

Showtime and Strikeforce have agreed to a new deal that keeps the mixed martial arts outfit on the premium network.

Under the new agreement, Showtime will produce and televise up to eight live events. Undercard fights will be televised on Showtime Extreme.

The new deal kicks off during the network's free preview weekend, Saturday, Jan. 7 at 10 p.m., as Luke Rockhold defends his middleweight title against Keith Jardine at The Joint at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas.

"This exciting announcement could not have come at a better time," said Stephen Espinoza, executive VP and GM of Showtime Sports. "During our nationwide Free Preview Weekend a whole new crop of MMA fans will have the opportunity to sample the Strikeforce brand free of charge."

Dana White, president of UFC, which owns Strikeforce, added: "We're excited about this renewal with Showtime and I expect to put on some big Strikeforce events next year... I never thought I would say this, but I am very much looking forward to building Strikeforce and working very closely with Showtime."

Strikeforce: Melendez vs. Masvidal airs live on Showtime Dec. 17, at 10:30 p.m. ET/PT (delayed on West Coast).