Strikeforce Challengers 16: Terry vs. Fodor...was something that happened. It was an MMA event. It wasn't great. It wasn't atrocious. It just kinda....was.
The 'Challengers' series of Strikeforce fights started out in 2009. It has been a proving ground of sorts where up and coming SF fighters can make a name for themselves.
Last night's event highlighted an issue that really has become (in my opinion) a problem for the Challengers series: When pitted next to each other, an entire card of prelim style fights just doesn't look that attractive.
I understand the reasoning behind doing the series. I'm aware of the argument that it gives more opportunities to fighters who might not ever get on TV. I just don't think the way the cards are put together is really doing the fighters justice.
Fodor vs. Terry would have been a great opening fight for a big Strikeforce event. The same could be said of High vs. Mulhern, or Larkin vs. Villante. The problem is that all three of those fights were just okay.
I love MMA. If it's on TV, I'm watching it. I want these younger guys to get opportunities. I'd prefer to see them getting those opportunities on real cards. Instead of putting all these guys with potential on one card, I'd rather see them spread those fights out as prelims on multiple upcoming SF bigger events. Why not take advantage of SF's relationship with HDNet and show prelims there every time? Have 6 or 7 prelims and show them on HDNet. Maybe even start using the internet to show the prelims the way the UFC has been doing recently.
I'm just not sure I agree that it's such a great thing that some of these fights are seeing the light of television. Do you think Matt Ricehouse and Ryan Couture were done that great a favor by being on TV last night? All it did was expose the fact that both fighters have long way to go in their development (this is much more true for Couture than Ricehouse). If getting on TV is the most important thing for fighters of this ilk, then they should leave Strikeforce, and join a smaller show like Titan Fighting or MFC, where they can be featured regularly.
I just feel that every time you put a fight card on TV and associate it with the name 'Strikeforce', you're advertising the promotion. If I were a casual fan who wasn't very familiar with the Challengers series and/or Strikeforce, and I tuned in last night to watch, I would have come away with bad feelings about Strikeforce, and probably wouldn't be in a huge hurry to catch the next SF show.