Strikeforce is an U.S.-based mixed martial arts (MMA) and kickboxing promotion based in San Jose, California. It is headed by Scott Coker and Silicon Valley Sports and Entertainment, operators of the HP Pavilion and the San Jose Sharks. Its events and fights are currently shown on NBC and HDNet as a part of HDNet Fights, and is scheduled to be broadcast on Showtime and CBS in 2009.
Strikeforce held its first major MMA event, Strikeforce: Shamrock vs. Gracie, on March 10, 2006, at the HP Pavilion in San Jose, California. The event was California's first regulated MMA event, and broke the previous record for the largest audience at a North American MMA event, previously held by UFC 57, with its 18,265 in attendance. The record was since broken by UFC 68 and K-1 HERO'S Dynamite!! USA, although Shamrock vs. Gracie retained the paid attendance record of 17,465.
In March 2008, Strikeforce and NBC partnered to broadcast weekly highlight and figher-profile series, Strikeforce on NBC from April 12. The program was the first of its kind on a major broadcast network.
ProElite and TV deal with Showtime
In February 2009, Strikeforce announced its purchase of several assets, including the video library and the contracts of 42 fighters, from ProElite, owner of the defunct EliteXC. Days later it also announced it had agreed to a three-year broadcast deal with Showtime for up to 16 events per year, as well as a deal with CBS for an option to produce up to four events.
|Men's Division||Champion||Date Championship Aquired|
|Light Heavyweight Champion||Vacant|
|Middleweight Champion||Luke Rockhold||September 10, 2011|
|Lightweight Champion||Gilbert Melendez||December 19, 2009|
|Women's Division||Champion||Date Championship Aquired|
|Welterweight Champion||Miesha Tate||July 30, 2011|
Strikeforce, as most U.S.-based promotions, employs the Unified Rules of Mixed Martial Arts. Ordinary matches consist of three five-minute rounds, while championship matches are five five-minute rounds. All rounds have a one-minute break between them. Bouts take place in a cage similar to the one used by other U.S.-based promotions such as the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) and World Extreme Cagefighting (WEC).
Strikeforce currently uses five weight classes (four champions):
- Lightweight: 145 to 155 pounds (67 to 70 kg)
- Welterweight: 156 to 170 pounds (71 to 77 kg)
- Middleweight: 171 to 185 pounds (78 to 84 kg)
- Light Heavyweight: 186 to 205 pounds (85 to 93 kg)
- Heavyweight: 206 to 265 pounds (94 to 120 kg)
- Welterweight: 125.0 to 135.0 pounds (56.7 to 61.2 kg)
- Middleweight: 135.0 to 145.0 pounds (61.2 to 65.8 kg)