In preparation for the upcoming RUFF 3, Ranik Ultimate Fighting Federation (RUFF) has agreed, in principle, to a partnership with Los Angeles, California-based production company Mandt Bros. Productions, as first reported by Variety's Marc Graser.
The Emmy Award-winning Mandt Bros., who currently produce content for ESPN, the Sci-Fi Channel, Showtime and the Food Network, are Hollywood veterans who bring a wealth of experience in sports entertainment to RUFF, having previously produced the Sydney Olympic Games, Monday Night Football, the X Games and the NBA Playoffs.
Below is a segment from Graser's Variety piece. For the full article, click here.
Mandts, Ranik ramp up MMA in China
Partners look to build on exclusive rights in territory
By Marc Graser
The Mandt Bros., behind ESPN's "Jim Rome Is Burning," have paired up with Ranik Ultimate Fighting Federation to produce TV shows around mixed martial arts to grow the sport in China.
RUFF, based in Shanghai, holds the exclusive government-sanctioned rights to produce MMA fights in China.
Mandt will collaborate with RUFF on the creative development of the league and live events, leading all TV production, from one-off specials to a potential reality shows to air in China.
"This is a huge opportunity to help grow MMA in the most populous country in the world, where martial arts is already popular," said Neil Mandt. "Mandt Bros. has strong expertise in sports and reality television, with deep relationships with networks, sponsors, athletes and others, and we are thrilled to team with RUFF to bring all of our creative and production skills to China."
RUFF founders and entrepreneurs Joel Resnick and Saul Rajsky secured rights to produce MMA bouts in China in 2010, gaining permission from the General Administration of Sport of China Wushu Administrative Center, after spending four years negotiating with the Chinese government to bring the sport to the country.
The company's first two events, in late 2011, were viewed by 20 million and 27 million, respectively.