Broadening their coverage of live combat sports, Showtime has reached an agreement with M-1 Global to bring a series of live events to the network starting on March 25 with a card featuring a pair of title fights in addition to an appearance from Ultimate Fighter Season 8 alumnus Vinny Magalhaes. The show will emanate from the Constant Center in Norfolk Virginia and be broadcast starting at 11:00 PM EST.
According to an official press release, “M-1 Challenge: Damkovsky vs. Figueroa” will be headlined by Artiom Damkovsky attempting to defend his lightweight belt against Jose Figueroa. In another championship clash, Tyson Jeffries and Magomed Sultanakhmedov will face off in hopes of claiming the promotion’s vacant middleweight strap.
Magalhaes’ opponent has yet to be determined.
“I am extremely happy about the venture between M-1 Global and Showtime. There is no better TV network for M-1 than Showtime and no better market to seriously compete in than the U.S.,” said M-1 Global executive Vadim Finkelchtein.
Lightweights Alexander Sarnavskiy and Josh Bacallao will also square off in main card action.
“Our ability to televise quality boxing and MMA fights at the highest level has been aided tremendously by our commitment to showcasing prospects and lesser known international stars on our feeder series like “ShoBox: The New Generation” and Strikeforce Challengers,” explained Ken Hershman, Executive VP and GM of Showtime Sports, on the network’s decision to further invest in MMA. “M-1 Challenge events fit perfectly into that mold and will enhance our Mixed Martial Arts offerings even further.”