Looks like Dana White is dipping another toe in the boxing waters, with word that a Salita Promotions fight card, on Feb. 15, will run on the UFC stream platform, UFC Fight Pass.
White had invited Roy Jones Jr Promotions to host their events on the MMA stream stage, so this makes two fight packagers now on the burgeoning platform. I asked Salita his take on hooking on with the UFC screening entity:
“UFC Fight Pass is one of the leading combat platforms in the world,” the former world title challenger, the fastest riser among promoters the game has seen in many a moon, stated. “They have mastered the art of delivering world class combat to fight fans around the world. We are excited that our talented fighters from around the world will get the exposure they need and that fight fans will see some of the best upcoming talent. The February 15th show is going to include Olympic Bronze Medalist from Wichita, Kansas Nico Hernandez, one of the best female fighters in the world and the first woman to ever fight in the Olympics, Elena Saveleva, undefeated Russian Heavyweight Apti Davtaev, now training at Kronk. Also, world rated undefeated junior welterweight Bakhtiyer Eubov and the heavyweight giant from Kazakhstan Izim Izbaki will compete. I'm very excited about this event and opportunity. I am very greatful to Taffet Media and Mark Taffet for helping facilitate this relationship!”
Here is the release which touts the deal:
(Feb 6, 2019) UFC Fight Pass, Salita Promotions and Mark Taffet Media have reached an agreement to live stream five world-class professional boxing matches on Friday, February 15, featuring US Olympic bronze medal winner Nico Hernandez, women’s top contender Elena Saveleva and undefeated heavyweight puncher Apti Davtaev in separate bouts.
The special two-hour stream (7:30 pm ET/6:30 pm CT) will emanate live from the Kansas Star Casino in Mulvane, Kansas.
And in a very special bonus, the commentating team will be anchored by long-time combat sports voice Sean Wheelock, who will be joined by “2018 Female Boxer of the Year” and women’s world champion Claressa Shields, making her debut behind the microphone. The combination of Wheelock’s experience and personality plus Shields’ in-depth knowledge of the sweet science will make for a very entertaining night for viewers.
Fighting in his hometown, the undefeated Hernandez (6-0, 4 KOs) will face Mexico’s Victor Trejo Garcia (16-9-1, 8 KOs) in an eight-round flyweight special attraction, presented in association with John Anderson’s KO Night Boxing.
Russia’s Saveleva (4-1, 3 KOs) is formerly one of the most decorated female amateur boxers in the world and competed in the first ever women’s Olympic boxing match in history at the 2012 Olympic Games in London. She will face Kansas City’s Tatiana Williams in a six-round flyweight showcase.
The fearsome Davtaev (15-0-1, 14 KOs), from Kurchaloi, Russia, trains at Detroit’s world-famous Kronk Gym and is featured in upcoming Ring Magazine “New Faces” section as a “Heavyweight to Watch” for 2019. He will fight 10 rounds or less against an opponent TBA.
“I am excited about teaming up with such a prestigious combat platform as UFC Fight Pass,” said event promoter Dmitriy Salita. “It’s another big step in the popularity of boxing and gives us the ability to showcase our deep talent roster to fight fans worldwide. Mark Taffet’s wealth of knowledge and experience at the highest levels of the sport helped us make this project come to fruition. I look forward to a great event!”
“I’m thrilled for Olympians Nico Hernandez and Elena Saveleva to have the opportunity to expose their talents to the vibrant UFC Fight Pass audience,” said Mark Taffet Media President and former TV exec Mark Taffet. “And it will be very exciting to see Claressa Shields accomplish another first in her career when she brings her tremendous boxing knowledge and insights to the Fight Pass commentary booth on February 15.”
“UFC Fight Pass has earned its reputation for featuring the most exciting prospects in MMA – and it is exciting to expand that spotlight to the Sweet Science,” said UFC Fight Pass’s Ant Evans. “We’re looking forward to a great boxing event featuring three emerging talents with the world’s greatest female pugilist – Claressa Shields – on commentary.”