Russian promotion M-1 Global made headlines today as a partnership with a conglomerate of investors was announced, one being the UFC. Other investors in the international venture include the Russian-China Investment Fund (RCIF) and the Mubadala Investment Company. Both non-sports organizations (RCIF and Mubadala Investment Company) are investment initiatives. They have the goal of stimulating economic growth within their respective countries. Announcements were made by M-1 Global and the Russian Direct Investment Fund.
UFC Partners with M-1 Global
“We are pleased that our American partners appreciated the attractiveness of the Russian market. MMA is one of the most popular sports in Russia, and there are many worthy athletes who can represent our country in the international arena. I am sure that cooperation with the UFC will be attractive not only from the investment perspective but will also make a significant contribution to the development of Russian sports.”
M-1 Global now joins the UFC in a partnership, one similar in nature to its investment partners. The partnership between MMA organizations holds the purpose of stimulating growth. Especially so in international regions.
The deal allows the oldest established MMA organization in Russia to scout the regions talent and venues for the UFC. In addition, M-1 Global champions have the opportunity to sign with the UFC.
Both parties benefit, in the initial sense, from the partnership. While M-1 Global continues to schedule bouts and events, other promotions from the region are not fairing as well. ACB as of now-canceled four shows. First, the highly anticipated ACB 91 set for London, England and the return of UK fighter, Brad Pickett. Also ACB 90 in Kazan, Russia, ACB 89 in Limassol, Cyprus, and ACB 92 in Malmo, Sweden were canceled.
Vadim Finkelstein CEO of M-1 Global was also quoted in the release. He stated the partnership allows for greater promotion of the sport to Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS).
“We are looking forward to working together with UFC and RCIF to develop local MMA talent in the Russian Federation and CIS countries to help grow the sport in these markets. MMA already was a sport on the rise among our young athletes, and working together with UFC and RCIF, we can propel it to even greater heights.”
The deal comes months ahead of the UFCs debut event in Russia. UFC comes to Russia in September to host a Fight Night event. Reportedly, Mark Hunt is set to face Aleksei Oleinik in the main event of the Fight Night card.