Fedor is a co-owner of M-1. Fedor didn't secure the TV deal for M-1, or set up the streams. Obviously those views had something to do with M-1, and not just Fedor alone.
The Russians love Fedor. I don't doubt 16 million of them would watch live at 7-8 am. It was on the biggest TV network in Russia. And the 3rd biggest TV network in Korea. Vadim has connections. Does UFC even have a TV deal in Russia? Vadim is good friends with Vladimir Putin. He can make things happen. He knows how to garner media attention.
90 million Japanese fans watched Akebono vs Sapp in kickboxing.It's not hard to believe that Fedor could garner 16 million views in Russia. And Fedor is attached to M-1 and Vadim. Their support could do a lot for the UFC whether you want to admit or not.
Russian MMA fans don't love Dana and they don't think that Vadim is the crazy and corrupt one. They don't read western mma media sources that repeat whatever Dana says. Hockey is popular in Russia. The NHL is not. Because Russians don't buy into American propaganda, the cold war wasn't that long ago. And the term "superbowl of MMA" means nothing to them.
They don't need M-1 by any means, but M-1 can certainly help them.
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