It was learned earlier today that the UFC will not go forth with the rumored LIVE show that would have taken place in Nashville, Tennessee on April 17th. The same night as the Strikeforce event that will air on CBS in an effort to counter-program their show. Both shows would have taken place in Nashville, Tennessee.
Is it a smart move? In one word...Yes.
The Strikeforce on CBS card will more than likely not surpass the numbers put up by it's initial offering(over 5 million viewers) back in November which featured Fedor Emelianenko and Brett Rogers in the main event. Most of the publicity and promotion for that event centered around Emelianenko. However, he will not be appearing on this upcoming card. Instead, this event will feature 3 title fights consisting of fighters with little to no name value to casual fans. The only exception to that would be Dan Henderson, and even he's not a huge draw when it comes to casual fans.
So in other words, there was no need for the UFC to go through all the hassle to put together a live show when the Strikeforce show will probably not do that well in regards to ratings on CBS. A LIVE event would have put the UFC in a predicament in regards to future shows as they were lining up some pretty big names to combat the Strikeforce show, so they probably analyzed the situation and thought better of it. It also would have cost the company money that they were not planning on spending as well. The UFC could have just been trying to force Strikeforce and Showtime to move their show to the 24th, which would have caused Strikeforce and Showtime to counter-program themselves in regards to the boxing show that will air that night.
However, that's not to say that the UFC will not counter-program them with their usual packages of UFC Unleashed or rehashed fights from past UFC PPV's. If they can put something on Spike TV that will lure away close to a million potential viewers, they would view that as a victory more than likely. So I wouldn't take this as a sign that the UFC isn't going to counter-program Strikeforce at all. I expect them to air some UFC footage on Spike.