For the first time in its 14-year history, King of the Cage will promote a live TV event Friday that’s not on pay-per-view. If you have MAVTV, you’ll be able to watch it at 10 p.m. EST.

“It’s a big deal for us,” King of the Cage executive Chris Cordeiro told the Sherdog Radio Network’s “Beatdown” show.

MAVTV is available on Dish Network and select cable systems, including Comcast and Time Warner. The channel, which has no affiliation with Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, was recently rebranded. MAV stands for Movies, Action and Variety.

“MAVTV was sort of a smaller channel in the past,” Cordeiro said. “They were featuring our greatest knockouts series for a long time. Then they were purchased by a company called Lucas Oil, which is a really big company. They own the NHRA racing and that sort of thing, and they’re actually going to be moving that racing onto this network in hopes to pick up more cable companies. I believe they already have the deal in place for DirecTV later on in the year. They have much better financing now and they’ll probably be available on DirecTV soon.”

King of the Cage will promote five live events on MAVTV per year, Cordeiro said, alongside a weekly series that airs recent cards on tape-delay. Middleweight champion Sean Strickland had been scheduled to headline Friday’s event, which takes place at the River Spirit Casino in Tulsa, Okla. However, he suffered a knee injury and also a staph infection. Shonie Carter will be his replacement against Josh Bryant.

“We have some talent that’s so athletic, people are going to be blown away when they’re exposed to these guys,” Cordeiro said. “In the past we’ve brought a lot of people into the light that way.”

Quinton Jackson is one name often mentioned in discussions of fighters who came up in King of the Cage. At one time, the promotion regularly hosted cards full of recognizable or established fighters, but it now focuses more on up-and-comers.

“In the early days, there was a lot of push and excitement behind King of the Cage,” Cordeiro said. “We had a partnership with Pride. Later on we became part of ProElite for the short existence of ProElite. We had about a year legal battle, after ProElite sort of went under, to get the intellectual property rights back, owning King of the Cage, but I think we’re moving in the right direction. Now we’re moving in with partners like Lucas Oil and MAVTV that are going to sink some money into doing a live promotion and some big things. I think we’re going to be more relevant than we have been. We’re moving in the right direction, but we’re not one of those companies that comes along and they just sort of throw a lot of money out there and hope that it works. What’s good about our structure is that we’ve always been profitable and we’ve always been building in the right direction.”

Listen to the full interview (beginning at 1:02:39).

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