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Showtime Exec Confirms Network Plans To Remain In MMA Business

Showtime executive vice president Stephen Espinoza has become a name very familiar with MMA fans as he worked closely with Strikeforce.

Now, as Strikeforce prepares for one last event Saturday night, Espinoza is confirming that his network plans to get back in the world of mixed martial arts.

“We had the option of moving forward (with Strikeforce). We decided not to exercise that option,” Espinoza said, during a recent interview with “We are actively looking for other opportunities. We are definitely looking for the next relationship in the MMA space.”

Strikeforce: Marquardt vs. Saffiedine will end a three-year run between the promotion and the network. Espinoza declined to mention any other combat sports leagues currently being evaluated by Showtime, but one would have to think Invicta FC, Legacy Fighting Championships and Shark Fights are all in the running.

Also, Espinoza confirmed that Showtime would hold on to the Strikeforce library, airing replays of events throughout the year. An agreement with Zuffa for the broadcast rights ends in March.

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