Bellator is Moving In!
Bellator Fighting Championships will have a new broadcasting home on Spike TV starting in 2013. Viacom bought a majority stake in the MMA promotion and made the move public earlier today. This deal comes on the heels of deal penned by the UFC and the Fox broadcasting networks earlier this year, in essence leaving Spike TV open for a new MMA promotion.
Bellator can currently be seen on the MTV2 channel. Bellator is known for its tournament series for each of its weightclasses where the winner of each respective weightclass tourney gets a fight against the current champion. Bellator is believed to be the home to the best fighters that aren't already under contract by the UFC or, it's parent company, Zuffa LLC.
Spike TV still owns the rights to the UFC library until 2013 so counter-programming with Fox's UFC could be a possiblity until the new Bellator contract begins.
But no hurt feelings, right? Not exactly. The UFC's first event on Fox will be on November 12th headlined by a heavyweight title bout between Cain Velasquez (Champion) and Junior Dos Santos (Challenger). Spike has already made plans to show previous fights of Cain Velasquez and Junior Dos Santos as the network debut is airing. And I thought fighting outside the cage was illegal...
The UFC's reality-based show The Ultimate Fighter is in it's final season on Spike TV. The next season, and all seasons afterwards, will be broadcasted on the FX network.