Tuesday, March 27, 2007

World-Class Warriors to Clash at the L.A. Coliseum for Historic Mixed Martial Arts Extravaganza

LOS ANGELES, March 27 /PRNewswire/ -- FEG (Fighting Entertainment Group), ProElite and Showtime Networks today announced a deal to bring the immensely popular "K-1 Dynamite" mixed martial arts (MMA) series to the United States for the first time. Dubbed "Softbank presents Dynamite!! USA in association with ProElite," this SHOWTIME Pay-Per-View event will take place June 2 at the legendary Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, which will host a mixed martial arts fighting event for the first time in its 74-year history.

"Dynamite!! USA promises to be one of the most exciting MMA events in history, and FEG is extremely excited to bring our production to this legendary Los Angeles venue," said Mr. Tanikawa, CEO of FEG. "Mixed martial arts has shown tremendous growth in recent years and events like this show that we are looking to raise the bar in making it one of the more popular sports in the U.S."

Headliners on the fight card will come from a variety of backgrounds, including 7-foot-2 South Korean giant Hong Man Choi, aka "Techno Goliath," who will face off against former NCAA and WWE wrestling champion Brock Lesnar. Also joining the fight card on June 2 will be mixed martial arts legend Royce Gracie and Johnnie Morton, a former USC Trojan wide receiver and NFL star.

Hong Man Choi, a K-1 Asia champion, will be making his first U.S. MMA appearance at the June 2 event, where he will take on newcomer Lesnar, a North Dakota native who rose to WWE stardom in shows such as WWE Raw, SummerSlam and WrestleMania. Gracie, a 14-year MMA pioneer and UFC Hall of Famer, began his training in the discipline of Jiu-Jitsu and has taken on many larger opponents during his career, including 6'8, 486 lb. Sumo Grand Champion, Akebono, who Gracie defeated. Morton, a Los Angeles native and football star with University of Southern California and the NFL's Detroit Lions, Kansas City Chiefs and San Francisco 49ers during an illustrious career, will be making his MMA debut at "Softbank presents Dynamite!! USA in association with ProElite."

The pay-per-view fight card, which begins at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT, will feature up to six fights, with co-main events. Prior to the pay-per-view, SHOWTIME will televise three explosive bouts featuring EliteXC stars Jake Shields, Antonio Silva and Gina Carano, free to SHOWTIME subscribers from 9-10 p.m. ET/6-7 p.m. PT. For pay-per-view pricing and ordering information, viewers should contact their local cable or satellite provider.

"Dynamite!! USA will offer one of the most diverse and exclusive fight cards to appear in an MMA ring, something we feel is important for our inaugural event in the U.S.," said Mr. Tanikawa, CEO of FEG. "All the fighters bring different sets of skills to the ring, which makes for truly entertaining combat. MMA fans stateside and around the world will be treated to a number of exhilarating matches and unique competitors that make these fights so exciting."

"Softbank presents Dynamite!! USA in association with ProElite" will combine the disciplines of karate, kickboxing and kung fu, as well as masteries of jiu-jitsu, judo and wrestling. The action takes place in a boxing-style ring, which provides easy accessibility for TV viewers and audiences. FEG matches take place in a controlled environment, where competitors are required to adhere to a series of rules and regulations. Fighters are not allowed to use elbows and attacks are not allowed to the head when one of the opponents is on the ground.

"Softbank presents Dynamite!! USA in association with ProElite" was brought to the United States from Japan with the financial help of Mr. Masayoshi Son, CEO of Softbank Capital, who, according to Forbes Magazine, is the richest man in Japan. Softbank, a leading telecommunications and media corporation, has been a key partner in the distribution of broadcasting and videogram rights throughout the world using Softbank's global network. As a result, the fighting competitions offered by FEG, such as "K-1," are currently viewed by spectators in more than 130 countries throughout Asia, Europe and Africa.

"As business partners, Softbank will combine FEG's excellent fighting sports content and event production expertise with SOFTBANK's strengths to pursue further global expansion," said Mr. Son. "We will fully support 'Dynamite!! USA' and offer blood-tingling sport scenes to audiences throughout the U.S."

"This fight card, with a star-studded field of international competitors is one of the most compelling pay-per-view offerings I have seen in a long time," said Ken Hershman, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Sports & Event Programming, Showtime Networks. "Showtime Networks has long been a leader in the pay-per-view business and we are proud to produce and distribute this event, as well as offer the compelling lead-in bouts on SHOWTIME. I would like to thank Softbank, FEG and ProElite for their tireless effort helping pull off this epic event."

Calling the action on both the SHOWTIME telecast and the Dynamite!! USA pay-per-view will be play-by-play announcer Mauro Ranallo. Iconic world wrestling star Bill Goldberg and veteran NFL reporter Jay Glazer will serve as color analysts. The executive producer of US telecasts will be David Dinkins, Jr. with eight-time Emmy Award winner John Faratzis directing.

"The tremendous growth of the sport over the last few years clearly demonstrates a demand for MMA on television, and its passionate fan base is a community which ProElite is building," said Doug DeLuca, CEO of ProElite.


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