It’s becoming crystal clear just exactly who is the leader in the clubhouse in the world of combat sports. SHOWTIME Sports has taken their lead and expanded it as they have recently announced the launch of two new digital series that will be specially geared towards fight fans.
MORNING KOMBAT WITH LUKE THOMAS AND BRIAN CAMPBELL as well as MORNING KOMBAT: DISSECTED, will stream weekly on Mondays at 12:00 pm ET / 9:00 am PT.
Fans will be able to catch every episode on the BELOW THE BELT YouTube Channel and Facebook page as well. For those that are concerned that the timing won’t fit their schedules, you won’t have anything to worry about.
Shortly after the live programming comes to a close, an audio-only podcast will be released so that fans of the show will have the opportunity to catch up on what they missed.
The sports world is a 24 hour news cycle, one that fans are always clamoring for. Basketball, football, baseball and a host of other sports receive a ton of attention, as they should.
Watching Kawhi Leonard and the Toronto Raptors bring home the NBA title was must-see television. Who could forget witnessing Tom Brady and the New England Patriots capture yet another Super Bowl?
How about the National Hockey League? The St. Louis Blues and the Boston Bruins battled it out for the Stanley Cup throughout the course of seven games. In the end, it was the Blues who managed to seize the first championship in their 51 year history.
As compelling as those storylines are, there is a downside. Their seasons all come to an end at a certain point.
Fans are forced to sit back and wait for months before their favorite teams can take the field of play once again. In both Boxing and Mixed Martial Arts (MMA), there are no breaks. With MORNING KOMBAT, fans will now be given the opportunity to take a peak behind the curtain as they will be given breakdowns like they have never witnessed before.
It isn’t just the shows that the fans should be excited about it, but also the individuals involved in hosting the show. Luke Thomas has been an avid member of the media since 2004. His insights into the world of MMA are highly respected. That much is clear as he was a 2014 Journalist of the Year World MMA Award nominee.
Brian Campbell, on the other hand is equally respected in his own field of work. He is currently a SHOWTIME Boxing analyst while also writing for CBS Sports. Additionally, he also hosts Premier Boxing Champions Face-to-Face for Fox Sports.
The pairing of both Luke Thomas and Brian Campbell has SHOWTIME Sports Senior Vice President of Digital and Content Strategy, Brian Dailey, excited about the move.
“We’ve been a long-time fan of Luke and his work,” said Dailey. “We got a chance to bring him onboard and create a show that is a little bit more for the hardcores and a little more focused on the Xs and Os of combat sports. He’s got great opinions and energy, so it’s a great chance to expand. Pairing him with Brian Campbell proved to be a great move, they have natural chemistry. Both have authentic and unique opinions that work great in that debate format.”
This isn’t simply a show that focuses on one form of combat, but a multitude of them. With such a unique approach, it seems only fitting that another unique event led to this unprecedented idea.
“I would say about two years ago, when [Floyd] Mayweather vs. [Conor] McGregor was taking place. That was when this idea came about,” said Dailey. “When we brought the two worlds of boxing and MMA together we saw a lot of interesting stuff. We know that there are fans that are loyal to one or the other but we noticed that there is a lot of cross hair. We also noticed that doing the content leading up to that fight, that the fans were having fun going back and forth with boxing and MMA. When the event came and went we did not want to let that go. Creating a show that speaks to both fan bases seemed like the perfect fit.”
Simply watching this new show would be entertainment enough, but that is not what SHOWTIME Sports is aiming for. Instead, full interactions between the fans with both Campbell and Thomas are expected to take place.
“This is one for the fans,” said Dailey. “They will see as we fill this out in the weeks to come that they will have tremendous opportunity to contribute to this show via social media and video submissions. We want this to be a virtual water cooler so to speak. Fans are going to be able to submit questions and comments and feel as though they are having a conversation with us.”
Fans can expect more than just a highlight reel being played on repeat. Instead, they will take a deeper dive into how the fights that weekend went down, and how the results ensued. Breaking down fights on a much deeper level with discussions regarding upcoming events are sure to take place as well.
For fans of Bare Knuckle Boxing, you can find a home with this digital series as well. Boxing and MMA are established sports with enormous fan bases, but Bare Knuckle Boxing is growing in popularity and will have its time to shine on this platform.
“I think Paulie Malignaggi has placed it [Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship] in a great spotlight,” said Dailey. “It falls under combat, so fans can absolutely expect us to speak on it as well.”
The world of boxing and MMA have officially collided. Make sure to tune in every Monday 12:00 pm ET / 9:00 am PT, on the BELOW THE BELT YouTube Channel and Facebook page, or catch it on audio-only podcast.