The reigning champion of mixed martial arts leagues took on an up and coming competitor on the cable dial Aug. 15.
On Spike TV, UFC aired the best fights from its UFC 100 pay per view event, while Showtime televised a live fight card topped by the matchup of Gina Carano and Christiane "Cyborg" Santos.
From 10 p.m.-12:30 a.m. on Spike, the UFC 100 replay averaged 2 million viewers, while Strikeforce on Showtime from 10:30 p.m.-12:30 a.m. averaged 576,000 total viewers.
Of course, Spike, being on basic cable and in 98 million homes, has an automatic leg up over Showtime, which is a pay network and is in just over 17 million homes.
Showtime still says it was very pleased with the fight, and noted that the Strikeforce event was the highest rated MMA card in network history.
The counterprogramming by UFC was a first the company, which has largely ignored its competition.