A pal of Fanhouse’s Michael David Smith risked severe eyestrain on several glorified-scalping Web sites to report that large blocks of seats for Saturday’s Strikeforce event in Chicago, Ill., are no longer available: Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker told media that the show is 85% sold out. (Floor seats, at upwards of $500 each, are probably going to remain idle.)
What we can infer from the business figures of Fedor Emelianenko to date: he’s a draw in a climate where virtually no non-UFC athlete has that potential. He’s doing steady, reliable business for stateside promotions. And even if his bout with Brett Rogers draws record low ratings Saturday, he will still be seen by millions of people, elevating his status as a pay-per-view attraction.
And unlike Affliction -- which loss-led with Emelianenko and other pricey talent -- Strikeforce considers their business to be more marathon than sprint. It’s a climate where decent business isn’t a disappointment. Solid footing -- but it can all be undone by Brett Rogers taking away Emelianenko’s selling point of invincibility. Coker and company will be just as nervous as family that night.