The Worldwide Leader has earned itself some GLORY.
The kickboxing organization has signed a broadcast deal in the United States with the ESPN family of networks, GLORY announced in a press release Thursday. GLORY and Spike TV parted ways last month despite an auspicious start in 2013 due to poor ratings and lack of substantial promotion.
MMA Mania was the first to confirm the news after ESPN 3 listings leaked online Wednesday night. Mania's Michael Stets reported Thursday on Twitter that the deal with ESPN is just for the upcoming GLORY 25.
GLORY 25 from Milan will air live Friday at 4 p.m. ET on the ESPN 3 digital platform. The fights will then be aired on tape delay a few hours later at 1:30 a.m. ET on ESPN 2.
"We couldn't be happier to be on multiple platforms of the most watched, most talked about sports network in the world," GLORY CEO Jon Franklin said in a statement. "This Friday will be the first time our stacked card will be available live on both coasts - joining live international broadcasts already scheduled in more than 100 countries, with almost 80 more on delay - and we're excited to be working with ESPN."
GLORY has many broadcast deals throughout the world, but has yet to find a consistent footing in the United States. ESPN aired kickboxing regularly in the 1980s and 1990s.
GLORY 25 will be headlined by a lightweight title fight between champion Robin van Roosmalen and Sitthichai Sitsongpeenong. In the co-main event, lightweight Giorgio Petrosyan will return from an absence to face Josh Jauncey.