Saturday, February 19, 2011

Showtime and M-1 Global: A match made in hell???

Fedor Emelianenko's recent loss to Antonio "Bigfoot" Silva last week put a dent in M-1 Global's stock value, but it hasn't stopped them from conducting business. Last week Showtime and M-1 agreed to a four-fight deal, of which the first event is set for March 25th at the Ted Constant Convocation Center in Norfolk, Va. Headlined by a lightweight battle between American Top Team prospect Jose Figueroa (9-4) and M-1 veteran Artiom Damkovsky, the event will present the second round of fights in the 2011 M-1 Challenge Season.

M-1 Global used to be part of HDNet Fights' broadcast lineup which is comprised of second-tier promotions like Ring of Combat, Maximum Fighting Championships, and King of the Cage. So, the move to Showtime is an obvious step up from previous broadcast deals.

However, while Vadim Finkeltstein and the M-1 executive team celebrate over vodka and borshch, their reputation as difficult-to-deal-with businessmen, and the strings of viral rumors of office closings and financial difficulties that have marked recent years still give M-1 Global a lot to prove to American fans and critics. Meanwhile, Showtime has devoted a great deal of energy to its combat sports schedule, with a highly touted Shane Mosley vs. Manny Pacquiao boxing match and more Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix action in view. Showtime took blows last year from Fedor's loss to Fabricio Werdum, and the Nashville post-fight melee that drew much criticism. The CBS-owned network can't afford any mistakes or mishaps in 2011.

If Showtime and M-1 want to be successful in 2011, M-1 Global will have to be on their best behavior.

No comments:

Post a Comment