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M-1 Challenge UFC Merger: News, Sportsbook Info, and Future Implications

Posted by: Mike Davis
An image previewing an artilce about the M-1 Challenge UFC Merger

Russian online UFC betting fans got some great news this week as M-1 Challenge announced that it would be partnering with the UFC. The UFC has been on a long and windy road as they’ve been trying to get the promotion in Russia for the last couple of years. Though they’ve had to jump through some loopholes, they’ve now officially crossed the tipping point. Specifically, the Russian promotion, M-1 Challenge, announced its partnership with ‘UFC Russia’. What are the sports betting implications of this M-1 Challenge UFC merger?

M-1 Challenge UFC Merger || The Basics

For longtime online UFC betting fans, this is the best thing that could’ve happened. Entering the Russian market, MMA fans will now see the best stars in the country. In fact, the merger opens the door for M-1 Challenge champions to earn an UFC contract. This should ultimately increase the level of competition in the UFC. We’ve already seen the monsters that have come out of Dagestan, so now it’s time to see what the rest of the motherland has to offer.

“We are looking forward to further cooperation with the UFC and the [Russia-China Investment Fund] working on developing young Russian talent, and this will benefit our sports very much,” Vadim Finkelchtein, President of M-1 Global. “MMA is a very popular kind of sports, and cooperation of the UFC, investment fund and M-1 Global can take MMA in Russia to (sic) new level.”

All in all this move is a bit surprising. As players who place online bets on the UFC’s action know, Dana White can be a bit of a hardhead. And in the past, him and Finkelchtein had trouble getting along. However, it’s clear that the new-look UFC is much more concerned with dollars than grudges. Who knows how hard it was to get White, or Finkelchtein for that matter, to agree. But in the end, all that matters is that we now have UFC Russia.

“Competition in M-1 Global is going to be even tougher, and that means we are going to see even more excellent and spectacular fights,” Finkelchtein stated in conclusion.

M-1 Challenge UFC Merger || Good or Great?

While we’re assuming that profit was the motor behind this deal, the UFC doesn’t seem as thrilled as some of their fans. Surprisingly, the UFC hasn’t made a formal announcement at the time of writing this article. Instead, they only put forth a brief comment in a minor press release.

“This partnership will be a tremendous boost to the sport of MMA in Russia and the CIS,” David Shaw, UFC Senior Vice President of International and Content said. “We’re excited to collaborate with [RCIF CEO] Kirill Dmitriev and his team to grow UFC’s brand in these key markets and serve the millions of MMA fans in this part of the world.”

The promotion will officially make it’s Russian debut come September. Specifically, UFC Fight Night 136 will be held on the 15th of September at the Olympic Stadium in Moscow. Although Nurmagomedov won’t be competing, we may one day see the Dagestani fighter compete closer to home.