CBS has released a new one-minute commercial introducing sports fans to Fedor Emelianenko, the generally recognized heavyweight champion of MMA who is largely unknown in this country but who will fight Brett Rogers on CBS on November 7. Although it's not yet clear how often CBS will run the ad on TV, it's a good first step toward promoting the fight -- and also a reminder of some of the drawbacks to promoting Fedor.
The two biggest drawbacks are that Fedor doesn't speak English, and that the UFC owns the rights to most of Fedor's fights. That means we never get to hear Fedor speak, and we don't get to see footage of him in the ring. Instead we see video of Fedor working out, interspersed with quotes from people praising Fedor's skills.
CBS has said it will advertise Fedor during NFL games, so it's a little weird that the first quote is attributed to Jay Glazer, who covers the NFL for Fox. And it's also a little weird that two of the quotes are attributed to UFC fighters, Randy Couture and Frank Trigg.
But the bottom line is that CBS is putting its promotional muscle behind Fedor, and for MMA fans, that's a good thing. The best fighter in the history of the sport is getting a major push to a whole new audience.