Thursday, March 20, 2008


CBS and ProElite, Inc. on Thursday announced that the first live primetime mixed martial arts event will be telecast on Saturday, May 31 at 9 p.m. PT / 11 p.m. ET on the CBS Television Network. CBS EliteXC Saturday Night Fights will be telecast live from the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J.

A number of top fighters are expected to be on the card including a main event featuring Kevin “Kimbo Slice” Ferguson against an as of yet unnamed opponent.

One fight that was officially announced for the card is “Ruthless” Robbie Lawler returning to action to defend his EliteXC middleweight title against Ultimate Fighting Championship and World Extreme Cagefighting middleweight veteran Scott “Hands of Steel” Smith.

Additional fights will be announced at a later date.

“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 line-up card that showcases the unique personalities, world-class athleticism, and raw power and emotion that characterizes mixed martial arts.”

The announcement about EliteXC’s partnership with CBS came a few weeks back. ProElite Live Events President Gary Shaw has been vocal about his excitement for the opportunity to present mixed martial arts on network television.

“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 Shaw via a press release on Thursday.

Showtime Sports will handle the production on the CBS EliteXC Saturday Night Fights, which are currently slated at four events per year in the two-hour primetime slot.

More announcements are expected to follow about the show including the broadcast team that will handle the announcing duties for the show.
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