By coming to terms with the promotion's parent company World Victory Road, HDNet Fights becomes the exclusive home of the two top Japanese MMA promotions.
Here's the full announcement:
HDNET FIGHTS INKS LONG-TERM DEAL WITH WORLD VICTORY ROAD
Agreement brings the fast rising Sengoku promotion to HDNet
DALLAS (February 9, 2009) - HDNet Fights announced today that it has agreed to a long-term partnership with World Victory Road to exclusively air the Sengoku Mixed Martial Arts promotion on HDNet. The deal marks the first time that the promotion's events will be seen in their entirety in North America.
In 2009, HDNet will feature twenty-five events from Asia alone, due to the network's partnerships with World Victory Road, DREAM, K-1, and K-1 MAX.
"We're very happy to announce this partnership with World Victory Road and to bring the action of Sengoku to HDNet," said Andrew Simon, CEO of HDNet Fights. "This continues our commitment to deliver the best MMA in the world. No one promotion or network can match the depth and breadth of MMA broadcast on HDNet."
"SENGOKU held its very first match in March 2008, and the upcoming competition on March 20 will mark the promotion's eighth event," said Takahiro Kokuho, Executive Managing Director of World Victory Road Co. Ltd. "The high quality of our fighters and our competition have earned rave reviews from many of our fans and the media, and we are honored to have created a partnership with a renowned American network such as HDNet. We look forward to sharing the ultimate martial arts form with the U.S. and MMA fans around the world, and we are confident that MMA fans will be excited as well. We look forward to taking unified steps to establish Sengoku as a top MMA brand in the U.S."
HDNet's coverage will begin with World Victory Road's Sengoku Seventh Battle at Yoyogi National Stadium Second Gymnasium on Friday, March 20. The event will feature Muhammed "King Mo" Lawal v. Ryo Kawamura in addition to the first round of a 16-man featherweight tournament.
So far, eight of the sixteen fighters in the tournament have been named. They are Hatsu Hioki, Masanori Kanehara, Tetsuya Yamada, Malron Sandro, Ronnie Ushiwaka, Chris Manuel, Nick Denis, and Jung Chan Sung.
The stars of World Victory Road include Middleweight Champion Jorge Santiago, Lightweight Champion Satoru Kitaoka, Takanori Gomi, Kazuo Misaki, Olympic Judo Gold Medalist Hidehiko Yoshida, undefeated "King Mo" Muhammed Lawal. Past events have also featured Josh Barnett, Antonio Rogerio Nogueira, Dave Herman, and Antonio Silva. Air dates and times will be announced at a later date.