MMA Pioneers

CV Productions is the first documented company to promote mixed martial arts as a sport to the American public in 1980. Popular promotions such as UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship) were not held until 1993. CV Productions developed a fight format to appeal to mainstream audiences, and partnered with concert promotion specialists DiCesare-Engler Productions. After major successes in the Pennsylvania region, the company laid the ground work to expand. They were negotiating a national sponsorship deal for a $100,000 prize finale set for Las Vegas in 1981. (To put the magnitude of the prize money into perspective, the average salary for an NFL pro in 1980 was $78,657. The championships garnered so much fanfare so quickly that they were slated for a nationwide tour that would have taken them to nearly every major US city.