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GLORY, Spike TV and the divide between sports and entertainment

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Kimbo Slice, GLORY kickboxer. That was almost a thing last year.

GLORY CEO Jon Franklin told MMA Fighting this week that he and his staff discussed the possibility of bringing the wildly popular former streetfighter in for a bout. Slice had competed in boxing before and, obviously, had a history in MMA. At the time, Slice was already on the Bellator MMA roster and GLORY and Bellator shared a television network, Spike TV.

Talks ceased pretty quickly, though. Nothing personal against Slice, but GLORY execs didn’t want to compromise the promotion’s identity as the top kickboxing organization in the world by putting forth a subpar product.

“Ultimately, while we had discussions about doing some big events like that, the decision really was that we want to be a true sporting league,” Franklin said. “The best athletes in the world fighting for the top prizes against the best athletes in the world. That’s really who we are and what we want to be, a global sporting league.”

In a nutshell, that is the main reason why Spike TV parted ways with GLORY last fall. Spike, like all television networks, is in the ratings business. GLORY’s unwillingness to do things like bring in the likes of Slice for “fun fights” that would draw numbers meant those two parties were no longer a good fit for each other.

Spike will stay in the kickboxing business with Bellator Kickboxing, led by Bellator MMA and longtime kickboxing promoter Scott Coker. GLORY has moved onto ESPN’s family of networks (ESPN 2 and 3, mainly) and UFC Fight Pass. GLORY 28 is set for Saturday with its Superfight Series airing on Fight Pass and its numbered card on ESPN 3.

“They were really pushing us into things that we didn’t want to do,” Franklin said of Spike TV. “Scott is a great promoter ….View full article

Source:: mma fighting