Top TV network of Arab world embraces MMA

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Yesterday, the television network MBC, the biggest in the Arab world and owned by the Saudi royal family, announced that it has come to an agreement with the Desert Force MMA promotion. Desert Force is a Jordan-based event where Jiu-Jitsu black belts Cristiano Marcello and Jorge Michelan, as well as France’s Anthony Rea and others, have fought in the past. The promoters’ aim, though, is to farm talent from the region and launch them in the international MMA market.

“Our objective has been to draw a greater and greater audience to our event, thus channeling expectations onto local Arab heroes of the sport. Our region is in need of more entertainment, and MMA has become more and more popular around here. We couldn’t have hoped for a better partner, as MBC reaches 200 million households in 22 Arabic-speaking nations. That’s a giant media segment,” stated the promoter and Jiu-Jitsu black belt Zaid Mirza, a native of the Brazilian capital of Brasilia based in Jordan.

The next Desert Force event will take place on the 7th of September, just after the month of Ramadan. It will be broadcast on the MBC Action channel, specializing in action movies and radical sports, to an audience of around 58 million people, according to the network. At the channel’s behest, the tournament featuring the Arab fighters and those of Arab descent through to the final phase will pick up again.

One of the participants is Southern Brazilian brown belt Gabriel Tayeh, who will be representing Palestine: “This is great news. The exposure it will give the fighters will be huge. That will draw more sponsors and fans,” said Gabriel, before hopping a plane to Rio de Janeiro to carry on training at X-Gym and Team Nogueira.

The full card for the event will be announced shortly, so stay tuned to

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