Despite the long layoff, the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix continues to be a big hit in the ratings department. Last Saturday’s Strikeforce “Overeem vs. Werdum” event finished second on the all-time Strikeforce/Showtime ratings list, only behind the first GP show featuring Fedor Emelianenko, Antonio Silva, Sergei Kharitonov and Andrei Arlovski. MMA Junkie has the numbers:

Overall, the June 18 event earned a 1.7 household rating, an average audience of 624,000 viewers, and a peak audience of 719,000 viewers. ( today confirmed the figures with an industry source.

Interestingly, four of the top five rated Strikeforce shows on Showtime have all taken place in 2011, suggesting that Strikeforce’s fan base has a hit a growth spurt this year. It will be interesting to see if that gives Zuffa extra motivation to keep the Strikeforce brand alive. I’m sure Showtime will be pushing for it.