Despite Fedor Emelianenko’s devastating loss to Antonio Silva and his questionable future, M-1 Global still managed to seal a deal with Showtime to broadcast M-1 Challenge events on the premium cable network. MMA Fighting has the details:
The first event will take place on March 25 at the Constant Convocation Center in Norfolk, Va. and air at 11 p.m. ET. It will be the first of four M-1 U.S. Challenge shows to appear on the network this year, sources with knowledge of the situation confirmed.
The deal is expected to be officially announced on Friday morning.
When rumors first surfaced of a possible broadcast deal between the organizations, many believed it was directly tied to negotiations for Fedor Emelianenko’s contract extension with Strikeforce. Considering his extension was signed weeks ago and they still came to terms following his second consecutive loss it appears the two deals weren’t as closely tied as previously thought. To be honest, I’m not sure what Showtime gets out of this besides more MMA programming for their network. I don’t see them picking up too many subscribers in the US considering only the hardest of the hardcore fan base follow M-1 events overseas, but I would have to assume they have their reasons.
As for M-1’s debut event on the network, the card is fully fleshed out yet, but so far it looks like this based on what MMA Fighting is reporting.
- Lightweight championship: Artiom Damkovsky vs. Jose Figueroa
- Middleweight championship: Tyson Jeffries vs. Plinio Cruz/Magomed Sultanakhmedov winner from March 5 bout
- Vinny Magalhaes vs. TBD
Image via M-1Global.com