CBS goes back to MMA with Fedor, Strikeforce

AP News
Posted: Nov 06, 2009 6:03 PM

Fedor Emelianenko is ready for his close-up.

The Russian mixed martial artist will no longer be his sport's least-seen superstar after Saturday night, when CBS showcases his Strikeforce debut against Brett Rogers to a national audience.

The scrappy Bay Area promotions company signed Emelianenko this summer when UFC balked at his demands. Strikeforce then struck a deal to put him on the Tiffany Network, which still believes this nascent sport can keep coveted young male viewers glued to televisions on a traditionally dead night for networks.

The marriage has been smooth so far, but executives with both companies are eagerly waiting to see whether Emelianenko can outdraw Kimbo Slice, who briefly became a CBS star last year.