A pal of Fanhouse's Michael David Smith risked severe eye strain on several glorified scalping Web sites to report that large blocks of seats for Saturday's Strikeforce event in Chicago are no longer available. Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker told the media that the show is 85 percent sold out. (Floor seats, at upwards of $500 each, probably will remain idle.)
What we can infer from the business figures of Fedor Emelianenko to date: He's a draw in a climate in which virtually no non-UFC athlete has such potential. He's doing steady, reliable business for stateside promotions. And even if his bout with Brett Rogers draws record-low ratings Saturday, he still will 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 its business to be more of a marathon than a sprint. It's a climate in which 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 & Co. will be as nervous as family that night.