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BAMMA makes deal with Spike TV in the UK

One of the leading MMA promotions in the UK strengthens its connection to Viacom and Spike with a new TV deal

The British Association of Mixed Martial Arts (BAMMA) announced details of a long-term broadcasting deal with Viacom on the newly launched Spike UK channel. The deal will see all BAMMA events broadcast live on the SPIKE TV UK platform and Channel 5. The first BAMMA event to be broadcast will be BAMMA 20 live from the Barclaycard Arena in Birmingham on Saturday April 25th.

Marie-Claire Dunlop from Spike said: "For the launch of Spike in the UK, we are delighted to have BAMMA on board as part of our ‘Fight Night' sports offering. Featuring the very best of British and going out live on Saturday nights, Spike will be the UK's exclusive home of this must see entertainment."

BAMMA CEO David Green said: "We are delighted to confirm a long term partnership with the newly launched Spike UK channel. Spike are a powerhouse in the sport of MMA, and we believe that they are the perfect strategic partner to further grow the sport of MMA and the BAMMA brand. This deal will offer BAMMA an unrivalled reach to the domestic TV audience, and continues BAMMA's position as the most watched MMA events in the UK."

From Britain to Bellator?

In the wider MMA world, BAMMA has been one of the most prolific and consistent organizations for producing primetime-ready talent. Current UFC fighters Gunnar Nelson, Scott Askham, Alan Omer, Tom Watson, Neil Seery and Erik Perez(!) have all had fights in the BAMMA cage. In addition, Bloody Elbow's #1 featherweight prospect Tom Duquesnoy, widely considered to be one of the most promising young fighters in the world, is the current BAMMA featherweight champion.

Now, rather than the UFC, BAMMA has something which might become a ready-made link to Scott Coker's Bellator waiting, by way of Spike TV and Viacom. It will be interesting to see if this might lead to more British and European prospects making their way to Bellator rather than to the UFC, if and when they make the stateside jump. With its recent "British Invasion" card, its promotion of London-based Michael "Venom" Page, and the crowning of Liam McGeary as the Light Heavyweight champion, Coker's production undoubtedly has some interest in the European marketplace.

The other major promotion in the region, the excellent Cage Warriors (of Conor McGregor and Joe Duffy fame) has gone quiet since the departure of its CEO Mark Boylan and subsequent cancellation of CWFC 75. Welterweight champion Nicholas Dalby and its first woman's bantamweight champion Pannie Kianzad, among others, have been snapped up by the UFC and by Zuffa affiliate Invicta respectively. If Cage Warriors doesn't return, fighters in western Europe may be looking at a very different MMA landscape very quickly as BAMMA or other organizations rush to fill the void it leaves behind.

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