Ready to host its own major shows (rather than co-promoting with other organizations), M-1 Global will kick off a new era of fight promotion on Aug. 28 with a main event of top prospect Muhammed "King Mo" Lawal (4-0) vs. MMA trailblazer and legend Don Frye (20-7-1).
Sources close to the negotiations today told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) bout agreements have finally been signed for the previously rumored matchup.
The event, "M-1 Global Presents Breakthrough," takes place at the Los Angeles Convention Center in California.
An HDNet official today told MMAjunkie.com the event airs live on the all-high-definition cable station.
The show, which takes place on the eve of UFC 102 in Portland, Ore., is being held in conjunction with IMMAE, an international MMA expo and trade show.
M-1 Global, a Russian-based organization, is perhaps best known for its "M-1 Challenge" event series, which M-1 officials bill as the "World Cup of Mixed Martial Arts." The series uses a country-vs.-country format for team competitions. However, while popular with many overseas locations, the event series has experienced minimal success in the U.S.
However, event organizers want to penetrate the lucrative U.S. market, and they plan to use a non-team event series (similar to the UFC and Strikeforce) for some future shows. M-1 has traditionally teamed with Affliction Entertainment to co-promote events but will go solo on Aug. 28.
Many major names have fought under the M-1 banner – including heavyweight kingpin Fedor Emelianenko – and could be options for future shows.
The first event, though, will feature two newcomers to M-1link