As mixed martial arts fans eagerly await the biggest MMA event in years, SHOWTIME will take viewers behind the scenes, inside the ropes and into the lives of the competitors on the June 2 “Dynamite!! USA” fight card. On Monday, May 14, (8:30 p.m. ET/PT) SHOWTIME will premiere the first of a four-part series entitled “Countdown to Dynamite!! USA.” Each 30-minute episode will profile the world-class fighters, detail the explosive and compelling match ups and preview the historic night of action.
The first episode of Countdown introduces viewers to many of the fighters on the eclectic card and profiles in detail the main event match up between former NCAA and WWE wrestling champion Brock Lesnar and 7-foot-2 South Korean giant Hong Man Choi. Also featured in episode one is the beautiful and talented female fighting sensation Gina Carano of Las Vegas along with her June 2 opponent, the heavy-handed and charismatic Jan “Cuddles” Finney of Springfield, Ohio.
Episode two, premiering Monday, May 21 at 8:30 p.m. ET/PT on SHOWTIME, will feature new and familiar faces to MMA fans. Former USC Trojan and NFL superstar wide receiver Johnnie Morton is preparing for his MMA debut and LA Coliseum homecoming. Morton, who used to catch touchdown passes on USC’s home turf, will look to catch the attention of the MMA faithful in his bout against Bernard Ackah of the Ivory Coast. Also in episode two, Antonio “Big Foot” Silva readies himself for his Super Heavyweight bout against Jonathan Wiezorek. Finally, the episode profiles Samoan slugger Mighty Mo, who is training for his fight against South Korea’s Mu Bae Choi.
The third installment of “Countdown to Dynamite!! USA” returns on Monday, May 28 at 8:30 p.m. ET/PT on SHOWTIME to go deep into one of the most anticipated bouts of the year. MMA legend Royce Gracie and Japan’s Kazushi Sakuraba are training for their historic rematch of an MMA classic. Their first meeting is widely considered one of the best in MMA history, a record-setting 90-minute battle in 2000 with Sakuraba winning by stoppage. It is a long-awaited grudge match between Gracie, a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Master and Sakuraba, who is dubbed “The Gracie Killer” for having defeated three other members of the Gracie family. Also featured in episode three is San Francisco slugger Jake Shields, who promises to pummel Israeli tough guy Ido Pariente, and Dutch warrior Melvin Manhoef, who will showcase his startling speed and power as he prepares for his match against Dong Sik Yoon.
Episode four will be a 30-minute highlight show recapping the series. The episode will touch upon each featured fighter and match-up, serving as a last call for the highly anticipated June 2 event. The final episode premieres Friday, June 1 at 8:30 p.m. ET/PT on SHOWTIME.
Following the premiere of each episode, (with the exception of the final episode) replays will air regularly on SHOWTIME and on the network’s multiplex channels. They also will be available anytime on SHOWTIME On Demand. For a complete list of air dates and times for all SHOWTIME programming, please visit www.SHO.com/schedule.
The history-making live MMA event on June 2 will feature six fights, including the co-main events of Gracie vs. Sakuraba and Lesnar vs. Choi, available live on pay-per-view beginning at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT. Prior to the pay-per-view, SHOWTIME will televise three live bouts, free to SHOWTIME subscribers from 9-10 p.m. ET/6-7 p.m. PT featuring three of EliteXC’s top performers: rising women’s superstar Carano, Brazil’s 6-foot-4, 300-pound Silva, and the speedy and powerful Shields. For pay-per-view pricing and ordering information, viewers should contact their cable or satellite provider.
Tickets for Dynamite!! USA are on sale via Ticketmaster locations, www.ticketmaster.com and the LA Coliseum box office. Seats will be available on the field and throughout the majority of the stadium bowl, with the exception of limited blocked sections on each end for restricted viewing. In the stadium bowl, seats in the upper sections will sell for $30, with the exception of the west end, which will be $10. The lower bowl will sell for $60 in most areas and $30 in the west end. On the field, tickets will run at $100 on the outer rim, $250 in the middle section and $1,000 at ringside.
Dynamite!! USA marks the first FEG event on U.S. soil and the inaugural MMA contest in the L.A. Coliseum’s 74-year history. FEG’s Heroes MMA events in Japan and Korea have routinely sold out major arenas and stadiums, including the 74,000-seat Tokyo Dome. The inaugural Dynamite in August 2002, held at Tokyo National Stadium, drew a record crowd of 92,000 fans.
Dynamite!! USA is presented by FEG (Fighting Entertainment Group), ProElite, Inc. and SHOWTIME Networks Inc.