Though Bellator Fighting Championships has been putting on high-quality fights for three years now, the organization and CEO Bjorn Rebney have been careful to not wage war with the UFC. However, it was announced today that Bellator will step just a little bit closer to direct-competitor status, with a reality show to air on the same cable network that gave the UFC its big break by airing The Ultimate Fighter — Spike TV.
After the UFC and Spike could not come to terms on continuing their partnership, Spike’s parent company Viacom bought Bellator, announcing that the new organization would begin airing programming on Spike in 2013. We now know that part of that will be a reality show featuring Bellator fighters and produced by The Amazing Race producer, Bertram van Munster.
“Some of the most physically-gifted and fascinating athletes in the world fight in Bellator, and I believe that they make ideal subjects for an innovative non-scripted series,” van Munster said in a statement released by Spike today.
His name might sound vaguely like a spy villain’s, but van Munster brings with him a lot of reality show gravitas (if there is such a thing) and reflects a level of seriousness on Spike’s part to continue to try and provide MMA content, even without the UFC. It was either that, or continue to try and
cock-block counter-program their former partners.
Few details about the show have been announced, other than it will be an hour-long and that it will debut sometime in 2013. We will keep you posted as developments are made public.
What format do you think would work best, ‘taters? Choose an MMA team/camp to highlight each season? TUF-style competition with regional hopefuls vying for a spot in Bellator? And what should they call the show? Since “bellator” means “warrior” in Latin, we’ll go ahead and suggest The Ultimate Warrior, unless this guy already has the phrase trademarked.
Highlights from Bellator 63 below: