by Ken Pishna – MMAWeekly.com
Emerging on the mixed martial arts scene less than five years ago, Cage Rage has since grown to become the most prominent MMA brand in Europe. But with the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s recent move to establish their brand in the U.K., Cage Rage won’t retain their stronghold without a fight.
Cage Rage principals Dave O’Donnell and Andy Geer were in Los Angeles, California this week to take part in the announcing of an alliance which serves as a strategic move for their brand, as well as for many other MMA promotions. Cage Rage is part of the K-1/Pro Elite alliance that also includes BodogFight, Strikeforce, and SpiritMC.
This comes hot on the heels of reports on MMAWeekly that Cage Rage was considering a buyout offer from K-1. O’Donnell and Geer denied that K-1 had purchased their promotion, but didn’t exactly slam the door on the possibility either: “Never say never, but we don’t know where the rumors have come from.”
The biggest immediate news surrounding Cage Rage, though, isn’t necessarily the alliance with the aforementioned organizations, but news regarding a coming presence on American television.
“We’ve got the biggest brand in Europe. It’s going to stay that way regardless of who else is coming over,” said a confident Geer. “People in the States typically underestimate the European market. We have massive TV deals over there, free TV deals; it’s just not a pay-per-view culture over there in the U.K. But the U.S. is definitely the largest market [for MMA].”
O’Donnell took the hand-off from Geer and ran with it: “On April 21st, be prepared for a U.S. TV deal because it’s there. I don’t know which channel… that’s no rumor. On April 21st, you’ll be seeing Cage Rage in the U.S.A.”
The dynamic duo from England would not be pressed into further details, but were adamant that U.S. fans will be able to watch the April 21st Cage Rage on American television.
This is a key move in Cage Rage’s recent battle with the UFC. When the UFC announced that they would be returning to the U.K. on April 21st, Cage Rage would not budge from their already announced show on the same date. The UFC is presently a juggernaut, but with a head start in the U.K. and now an emerging TV deal in the U.S., Cage Rage has shown that they aren’t going to run from the challenge.