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This past weekend's Strikeforce Challengers 7 event, which featured notable prospects such as Lavar Johnson and Miesha Tate, drew a 1.0 rating and a total average audience of 316,000 viewers on Showtime, MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) confirmed with an industry source.

Compared to February's Strikeforce Challengers 6 event, which averaged just 150,000 viewers, ratings for the March 26 event were up a staggering 111 percent.

Of course, the event benefited from Showtime's "free preview" weekend, which allowed tens of millions of otherwise non-viewers to watch the premium cable channel's content at no charge.

The channel is usually available to approximately 12 million households.

Strikeforce Challengers 7 took place at the Save Mart Center in Frenso, Calif.

The Strikeforce Challengers event series is designed to showcase top prospects and veterans close to earning spots on the organization's major Showtime- and CBS-televised events. Strikeforce officials' ratings expectations, as one would expect, are fairly conservative, especially since the shows are often replayed and made available via Showtime On Demand for later viewing.

The latest installment saw Johnson, who was out of action for a year after being shot at a family party in July 2009, stop Hawaiian fighter Lolohea Mahe via second-round TKO. Additionally, Abongo Humphrey, Andre Galvao, Tate and Justin Wilcox also picked up victories on the night's televised main card.
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