SANTA MONICA, Calif. — Bellator and Spike TV plan to produce and broadcast an MMA-related reality show entitled “Fight Master: Bellator MMA” in summer 2013, the companies announced at a press conference on Tuesday.
The show will be comprised of 32 fighters divided into four teams coached by former two-division UFC champion Randy Couture, former Strikeforce and UFC champion Frank Shamrock, famed MMA coach Greg Jackson, and Bellator bantamweight Joe Warren.
“I’m excited,” Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney told GRACIEMAG.com following the press conference. “There’s so much happening right now. It’s almost like getting a drink of water out of a fire hose. It’s awesome.”
The fighters will compete for a spot in the welterweight tournament, which will take place in the fall of 2013, and will live and train together in a compound located in New Orleans. Additionally, fighters will be able to choose which coach they want to train under and who they want to fight next.
Sharon Levy, Spike’s executive vice president of original series, described the show’s approach by saying the stakes are high and any wrong decision by a fighter can make the difference.
“As the fighters control their own destiny, they will need to utilize strategy in and out of the cage if they want to succeed and advance each week,” she said.
Levy and Rebney did not divulge what day and time slot the show is scheduled for, but Levy said that an announcement will be made soon.
Spike has been known for showcasing reality-based MMA programming in the past, as they were the home to the UFC’s groundbreaking series “The Ultimate Fighter” beginning in 2005. The company broadcasted the UFC’s show until the end of 2011 when the MMA promotion signed an exclusive deal with the Fox network.
The Bellator series will delve into its fighters backgrounds and showcase the journeys that brought them to the reality tournament. Fighters were interviewed and recruited from “all over,” according to Rebney, but their identities were not revealed.
Plans for when they plan to start shooting for the series were not announced.
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