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Fight Network Partners with OpenMat MMA to Empower Women on International Women’s Day

TORONTO – Fight Network, the world’s premier multi-platform combat sports channel, announced today a partnership with Toronto’s OpenMat Mixed Martial Arts to empower women through self-defence and combat training workshops.

The partnership sees Fight Network’s Dare to Defend (D2D) initiative supporting and elevating the efforts of OpenMat’s Fight Like A Girl (FLAG) program, now in its fourth year. Since 2013, FLAG has run more than 40 free monthly workshops, serving over 800 women.

“We created Dare to Defend because we believe in the power of combat sports training to change the lives of women everywhere,” said Leonard Asper, CEO of Anthem Sports & Entertainment Corp., the parent company of Fight Network. “[FLAG] has done an amazing job of delivering the kind of program we’ve been looking for and is helping augment the activities of our Dare to Defend program. Dare to Defend’s mandate also involves working with at-risk women and victims of domestic violence. Through [FLAG] the organization is in currently delivering a series of customized self-defence workshops to women at a local YWCA housing center, and will be adding additional locations through the year.”

“We are looking to expand the program locally, but our goal is to be global,” said Elliott Bayev, FLAG founder and owner of OpenMat, who is also a Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt world silver medalist. “Partnering with a media company like Fight Network that is plugged into the martial arts communities in 30 counties opens many exciting possibilities for expansion.”

Details for the free women’s self-defence workshop on Wednesday, March 8 are:

Time: 7:45 to 9:45 p.m.

Location: OpenMat Mixed Martial Arts, 295 College, Lower Level (just West of Spadina)

Admission: Free - Register by emailing

For More Information Contact:

Anthem Sports & Entertainment Corp.

Ariel Shnerer

Director, Programming & Communications

About Anthem Sports & Entertainment Corp.

Anthem Sports & Entertainment Corp. is a global sports media company and a leader in operating targeted specialty video channels on linear, digital and mobile platforms with offices and studios in New York, Toronto, and Los Angeles. Anthem’s portfolio includes Fight Network, the world’s premier combat sports channel now broadcasting in the U.S., Canada and over 30 other countries, Fantasy Sports Network (FNTSY), the world’s first and only channel dedicated to fantasy sports, GameTV, a Canadian specialty channel specializing in game-related programming such as game shows, reality series, movies and sports,, a leader in fantasy sports news and analysis,, the most comprehensive and far-reaching daily fantasy sports website and Edge Sport, an extreme and action sports network recently launched in Canada in partnership with IMG. Anthem also has a significant ownership interest in Pursuit Channel, one of the top outdoor channels in the U.S. available in over 40 million homes, and it owns, a leader in general sports entertainment commentary.

About Fight Network

Fight Network ( is the world’s premier combat sports network dedicated to complete coverage of combat sports, including fights, fighters, fight news and fight lifestyle. The channel is available on over eight of the top 20 video providers in the U.S., all major carriers in Canada, Roku and Apple TV devices across North America, over 30 countries across Europe, Africa and the Middle East and on TSN Radio in Canada via its program “Live Audio Wrestling.” Fight Network is a subsidiary of Anthem Sports & Entertainment Corp., a leading global sports media company. Fight Network also operates Dare to Defend, a non-profit organization aimed at addressing the issue of domestic violence and gender inequality, empowering women in the process.

About Fight Like A Girl

Fight Like A Girl aims to make free and affordable women’s self-defence training accessible to every woman in the world by 2030. Even if every woman in the world knew how to defend herself however, why would we accept a world in which she had to? Through Fight Like A Man, FLAG runs in-school and at-work personal development workshops for boys and men, engaging in dialogue around boundaries, violence and social change. The aim is to create a global movement of girls and women, boys and young men fighting to end gender based violence. In addition to

monthly free workshops run at OpenMat, FLAG offers paid courses, private lessons, and corporate and in-school workshops. FLAG has recently partnered with Dare to Defend, a women’s empowerment program created by Fight Network.

About OpenMat

While the coaches are all champions themselves and the school has groomed local, national and world champions, OpenMat is known as Toronto’s friendliest mixed martial arts academy, catering more to urban professionals than “bros”. OpenMat provides world class instruction in the modern martial arts - Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Muay Thai Kickboxing, Wrestling and Mixed Martial Arts, itself. With a 9 foot high mural of the earth and “We are here to make the world a better place.” written on the walls of their former location, OpenMat is built on the belief that small business must become a vehicle for social change


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