Already airing in over 80 countries worldwide, Bellator Fighting Championships continues to expand its reach as the promotion has partnered with Russian broadcasting giant Russia 2, for the largest MMA broadcast alliance in Russian history. Beginning Sept. 28, Bellator will be aired exclusively on Russia 2 throughout the country, introducing over 83 million Russian sports fans to the largest tournament based MMA promotion in the world.
“Over the last year, as the Bellator brand has experienced enormous growth and our talent team has signed the greatest Russian Mixed Martial Artists in the world, the timing was perfect to align Bellator with Russia’s leading sports network,” said Bellator Chairman & CEO Bjorn Rebney. “R2 carries the world’s greatest sports to Russian viewers. So, aligning Bellator with this industry giant is another very exciting step forward in the evolution of the Bellator brand worldwide.”
With headquarters in Moscow, Russia 2 reaches an audience of over 83 million viewers, and offers a wide range of programing that includes the 2012 Summer Olympic Games, EPL and UEFA Champions League Soccer, Formula One Class racing, KHL hockey, and now Bellator Fighting Championships. Additionally, Bellator will air on R2’s new Fight Club Channel, which will offer Russian subscribers the very best in combat sports on a daily basis.
“Bellator is the world’s leading Tournament based MMA organization, featuring the greatest Russian MMA fighters,” said Grigory Kovbasyuk, Executive Producer of R2. “R2 leads the way in Russian sports broadcasts with the Olympic Games, World and European Championships, Formula 1 Racing and many other top sports. We are very excited to have partnered with Bellator to bring MMA’s most exciting competition to over 83 Million Russian sports fans.”
Known as one of the most dangerous technical strikers in the sport, Alexander “Storm” Shlemenko headlines an impressive list of Russian born fighters currently under the Bellator banner. Additionally, elite Russian fighters such as Andrey Koreshkov, Vitaly Minakov, Vyacheslav Vasilevsky, and undefeated lightweight Alexander Sarnavskiy will all be looking to make big impressions inside the Bellator cage in 2012 and 2013.
“It’s an absolute honor to now have Bellator airing in my home country of Russia,” Shlemenko said. “I take a lot of pride in my family and friends being able to watch my fights, and now everyone will be able to with this incredible partnership.”