Strikeforce Gets April 17 Spotlight to Itself; UFC Counter Show A No-Go

Scott CokerStrikeforce has the spotlight to itself.

The long-rumored UFC event expected to counter the promotion's April 17 CBS offering will not take place, MMA Fighting has confirmed.

Earlier this month, the UFC explored the option, going so far as to inform likely broadcast partner Spike TV that the show was a go, but the company has apparently reversed course, and a Spike source said the network has been told by the UFC that the show is no longer happening.

At the time, rumors of potential matchups pitting Mike Swick against Matt Serra and Wanderlei Silva vs. Yoshihiro Akiyama were quickly extinguished for various reasons, making finding a headlining act a challenge.

Also complicating factors was the decision to put together a card on short notice; at the time, there was six weeks to assemble the event. The UFC had been able to do it once in the past, when it countered Affliction's first pay-per-view offering in July 2008 with a card headlined by Anderson Silva. But in this case, logistics could have been a factor as Zuffa already had UFC 112 scheduled for Abu Dhabi on April 10 and the pivotal WEC 48 pay-per-view on April 24, so adding another card would have strained the company's resources.

Now, it appears Strikeforce will air its anticipated show pitting three title fights free of live competition, though the Spike source said it's likely the UFC will at least air a prior pay-per-view event on Spike. A decision on that programming has yet to be made.

The Strikeforce event, emanating from the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, features title bouts between Dan Henderson and Jake Shields (middleweight), Gegard Mousasi and "King Mo" Muhammed Lawal (light-heavyweight) and Shinya Aoki and Gilbert Melendez (lightweight).

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