Strikeforce isn't competing with the UFC lol.. The UFC is competing with Strikeforce by always trying to shut Strikeforce down by counter promoting against it.
Strikeforce and Scott Coker KNOWS Strikeforce is #2 and are very content with being #2. They're making a profit and they know they will never be #1, no one will ever take UFC's spot. And there's nothing wrong with that. Being #2 has many advantages for MMA fans because Strikeforce has no problem co-promoting and giving fans fights they want to see. Strikeforce also isn't that strict on their fighters, where as the UFC you pretty much have to sign your life away.
As far as the payouts go they're very 'meh' to me. But this was on Showtime a cable channel that maybe costs $3.99 monthly to get. The raw payout in MMA is bad no matter what company you're in unless you're a payperview seller like Brock and Liddell. And there's practically no market for womens MMA besides Strikeforce in America so they can pretty much choose how much their women are worth.
Basically what I'm saying is as a fighter you need to make your company money befor you make money. There's a reason why Diaz got 50k and Noons only got $10k. No one really knows who Noons is but Diaz has fought multiple times in the UFC. Fans know who Diaz is- hence why the Diaz vs Noons 2 poser had DIAZ in big letters and NOONS in smaller.