Last week this author wrote about Khabib Nurmagomedov’s Eagle FC, their first venture into the U.S., and where they fit in as a stateside promotion.
From what we’ve seen, the debut was a success.
Due to the promotional power of Nurmagomedov (29-0), Eagle FC got a lot of big names involved — not just on the card, but involved in its production.
Two of the biggest names in combat sports were involved in the broadcast in former UFC stars Chael Sonnen (31-17-1) and dual-champion Henry Cejudo (16-2).
With Khabib backing the show, Eagle FC can and will draw stars and credibility.
There has even been some mainstream attention from ESPN.
I saw plenty of people watching the event, betting on the event and just being interested in general. That interest wasn’t nearly as big as the UFC, but bigger than regional promotions and on par with some of Bellator’s smaller events.
I believe that if Nurmagomedov and Eagle FC want to hold more events in the U.S., they will be welcomed.
On the heels of the Eagle FC event in Miami, U.K.-based promotion Cage Warriors will host a card in San Diego. This will be the European MMA promotion’s second venture to the U.S. and its second event in San Diego, to boot.
While nothing like the names on the Eagle FC card, Cage Warriors is also building a card of names American fans will know.
Among those are Dana White Contender Series winner Kyle Driscoll (12-3), five-fight Bellator veteran Joshua Jones (11-5), former NC State wrestler Max Rohskopf (7-1), and former UFC title challenger Wilson Reis (24-12).
You don’t see any UFC Hall of Famers there, but Cage Warriors are definitely making an effort in the U.S. as well.
With both Cage Warriors and Eagle FC promoting in the states, there is plenty of room for other promotions in the U.S. outside of the UFC and Bellator and it’s nice to see that other promoters are making that effort to be third.
It remains to be seen how serious they are about it.