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OK, so the names aren’t exactly Chuck Liddell-level, but it’s MMA for free (You want UFC? Pay $50 for pay-per-view.).
The match revives last year’s MMA experiment for the network, where CBS aired three of four planned Saturday night fights.
The strategy ended prematurely after partner Elite Xtreme Combat folded.
The programming also drew a rare bit of public criticism from Viacom and CBS chairman Sumner Redstone, who said airing bloody ultimate fighting on broadcast TV was not “socially responsible”
Ratings were fairly impressive, however, especially for a Saturday, and the move brought some young male viewers to the older skewing network.
This time CBS is back with a new partner (veteran promoter Strikeforce) and a three-event deal, with an option for more.
According to the release, CBS has crafted a very “Rocky IV” storyline here:
“The world’s Number One-ranked MMA heavyweight fighter, Fedor Emelianenko of Russia, will face undefeated American Brett Rogers of Minnesota in the marquee match up.Simply referred to as “Fedor” by fans around the world, the 6-foot, 235-pound Russian is one of the most dominant fighters in the sport. He is a master of the Russian military combat system Sambo and boasts a record of 30 wins, one loss, no draws with 16 wins by submission, seven knockouts and seven decisions. The 28-year-old Rogers (10-0) is a massive physical specimen standing 6-feet, 5-inches tall and weighing 265 pounds. He possesses two of the heaviest hands in the sport of MMA, an attribute that has helped him knock out all 10 of his professional opponents.”
That match actually sounds pretty cool. And what better platform for CBS to promote its new shows such as “The Good Wife” and “Three Rivers” … oh, wait.
The fighters are both in training for the event now. Here’s a clip:
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