Cagewriter - Mixed Martial Arts

Thursday will be an historic day for mixed martial arts, when CBS and Elite XC announce a deal that will bring the sport to network television for the first time.

Details of the deal, first reported by, are sketchy, but is believed to be a four-fight deal that will begin in April.

Kevin Ferguson, the Internet street-fighting sensation known as Kimbo Slice, is expected to headline the first fight card on CBS from either Atlantic City, N.J. or the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J.

Elite XC president Gary Shaw declined comment on Wednesday, but he has been bullish on the company's future despite the fact it lives in the vast shadow created by the UFC.

The UFC had been attempting during the writer's guild to reach a deal with CBS to put fights on, but had been unable to finalize a contract.

Elite XC already had a relationship with Viacom, which owns CBS, because Showtime is an investor in the company and has been broadcasting its fights since February 2007.

Viacom also owns Showtime.

The cards on CBS are expected to be two-hour shows broadcast on Saturday nights. The exact time slot is unknown, though it is likely to be something like 9 p.m. to 11 p.m. in the Eastern time zone and 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. in the Pacific.

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