Yesterday we reported that EliteXC would be debuting for the CBS network on May 31st, well today both sides made the announcement official through a press release. Current EliteXC Welterweight champion “Ruthless” Robbie Lawler will be defending his title, and Kimbo Slice is also scheduled to be on the card.
The event will take place on May 31st at 9:00-11:00PM ET/PT, which means that it will air on tape delay for those who live on the west coast.
EliteXC will be making history on May 31st, as they’ll be the first MMA organization to air on a major network television network. The IFL made an attempt at being on network TV with the opening round of the IFL Grand Prix on MyNetworkTV, but everyone agrees that MyNetworkTV is a blip on CBS’ radar.
Here’s the official press release from EliteXC:
THE FIRST “CBS ELITEXC SATURDAY NIGHT FIGHTS” TO BE BROADCAST LIVE ON SATURDAY, MAY 31 ON THE CBS TELEVISION NETWORK
EliteXC Heavyweight Sensation, Kimbo Slice, Will Headline an Exciting Night of Mixed Martial Arts
Middleweight Champion “Ruthless” Robbie Lawler will Defend His Title Against Scott “Hands of Steel” Smith
LOS ANGELES, March 20— CBS and ProElite, Inc. today announced that the first live primetime mixed martial arts event will be broadcast Saturday, May 31 (9:00-11:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network. CBS ELITEXC SATURDAY NIGHT FIGHTS will be broadcast live from the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J.
“We’re excited to introduce broadcast television viewers to America’s fastest growing sport with this prime time event,” said Kelly Kahl, Senior Executive Vice President, CBS Primetime. “EliteXC is putting together a lineup card that showcases the unique personalities, world-class athleticism, and raw power and emotion that characterizes mixed martial arts.”
Champion “Ruthless” Robbie Lawler will put his title on the line against Scott “Hands of Steel” Smith in a middleweight championship bout. EliteXC heavyweight phenom, Kimbo Slice, will also participate in the May 31 event along with other stars from mixed martial arts. Additional matchups will be announced at a later date.
“I am very happy for the highly trained fighters, who will finally get the kind of exposure they deserve, and, of course, the viewers, who will get the opportunity to learn that MMA is truly a sport that requires an abundance of skills, both mentally and physically,” said Gary Shaw, EliteXC Live Events President.
CBS and ProElite, Inc., a Los Angeles-based leading entertainment and media company that produces world class mixed martial arts (MMA) events, announced last month they were teaming up to bring MMA to a major broadcast television network for the first time. CBS will broadcast four MMA events per year, produced by ProElite’s EliteXC fight division, as two-hour live primetime specials.
Mixed martial arts is a sport evolved from a number of ancient combat disciplines including judo, jiu-jitsu, karate, wrestling and kickboxing. World-class athletes engage in hand-to-hand combat in a ring — both caged and traditional — and must adapt their fighting style to fit their opponent. The wide variety of styles and techniques make every event an unpredictable spectacle.
CBS ELITEXC SATURDAY NIGHT FIGHTS will be produced by SHOWTIME Sports. The executive producer is David Dinkins, Jr. with Bob Dunphy directing.
For additional information visit www.proelite.com