The first event will take place on March 25 at the Constant Convocation Center in Norfolk, Va. and air at 11 p.m. ET. It will be the first of four M-1 U.S. Challenge shows to appear on the network this year, sources with knowledge of the situation confirmed.
The deal is expected to be officially announced on Friday morning.
M-1 is best known as the company that manages the career of Russian MMA great Fedor Emelianenko, but a promotional arm has been running events in Europe and other parts of the world for over a decade.
The March 25 event will feature a headlining match between M-1 lightweight champion Artiom Damkovsky and Jose Figueroa, sources told MMA Fighting.
Also on the card is a match for the vacant middleweight belt, pitting Team Quest's Tyson Jeffries against the winner of a March 5 fight between Plinio Cruz and Magomed Sultanakhmedov. Former UFC fighter Vinny Magalhaes will also compete on the card, against an opponent to be determined.
Showtime has previously aired MMA events from EliteXC, and is the current broadcast home of Strikeforce. Its most recent MMA broadcast, February 12's Strikeforce: Fedor vs. Silva event, drew a peak total of 1.1 million viewers. The cable channel has about 18.2 million subscribers in total.
M-1 has been a co-promoter on two Strikeforce/Showtime events, but March 25 will mark its first time out as a solo promoter on the channel.
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