Wednesday, September 28, 2011
Can M-1 get Fedor-Monson on TV?
By Chad Dundas
Would you like some Fedor Emelianenko to go with your Sunday brunch?
While there is still no definite plan in place to air Emelianenko's Nov. 20 fight against Jeff Monson on TV in the United States, M-1 Global Director of Operations Evgeni Kogan told Full Contact Fighter this week that the management group is still pursuing options that could get the bout on the airwaves. Even if a deal is reached, the time difference between the US and the fight's locale (Moscow) would put the broadcast way, way out of prime time -- likely at around 10 a.m. ET on Sunday.
"I guess there’s not a huge amount of time left to do a deal, so maybe within two or three weeks we will have something sorted ...," Kogan said. "I think it’s very likely that the bout will be live in North America, albeit, very early on the Sunday morning in the U.S., especially on the West Coast."
Of the options available, Showtime could be the most likely, given the premium channel's ongoing broadcast deal with M-1. The two are still scheduled to air an M-1 event live on Oct. 14 and -- as FCF's Kelsey Mowatt correctly points out -- Showtime agreeing to run with Emelianenko versus Monson a month later could conceivably be seen as a sign the network is open to staying in the MMA business after its current contract with Strikeforce expires at the end of this year.
If Showtime balks, other potential destinations for the fight might include HDNet -- certainly no stranger to airing live fight shows at strange times -- or even Versus, which is likely to be without live MMA programming after it broadcasts its final UFC event on Saturday.
If no television deal can be reached, Kogan said the fight will certainly be available online.
Admit it: if it's on, you'll watch this, if for no other reasons than to see what "The Last Emperor" has left in the tank and why Monson keeps letting promoters talk him into sticking around at heavyweight.