(Photo via MMAFighting.com)
Earlier today, Spike TV and Bellator executives and former two-division UFC world champion Randy Couture hosted a media conference call to give more details about the two television projects “The Natural” will be involved with as part of his multi-year agreement with the cable network and rising fight organization.
The first, titled Fight Master: Bellator MMA will be a reality television fight competition show, reminiscent of the one Spike famously created with the UFC back in 2005, which also featured Couture as a coach on its first season. This time around, Couture will serve as a coach along with Frank Shamrock, Greg Jackson and Bellator fighter Joe Warren. Thirty-two welterweight contestants will vie for a spot in the Fight Master house, and sixteen will make it in to compete for $100,000 and a slot in a future Bellator tournament.
Spike and Bellator say that Fight Master: Bellator MMA will tape in the fall of 2013 and that the show will feature more fighter choice and autonomy than in past shows of this type. The Emmy award-winning Bertram van Munster and Elise Doganieri, who created The Amazing Race will serve as the show’s executive producers.
Spike and Bellator also announced a second reality show that Couture will be a part of. MMA Rescue will feature Couture using “his years of expertise in the business of mixed martial arts to help turn struggling gyms into thriving enterprises.” That’s actually new ground for MMA programming and sounds pretty cool, as far as we’re concerned. Fight fans who have, for years, been subjected to watching restaurants, bars, tattoo shops, and hair salons get turned around will now get their very own version of the business rescue reality-show format.
The Hollywood Reporter has also reported that MMA Rescue “will be produced by Couture [and] his manager Samuel Spira” and that “Production on MMA Rescue likely will begin after Fight Master wraps.”
Couture said that he felt he was “coming home to Spike” with this new agreement. The former fighter and Dana White BFF also expressed excitement at reprising his coaching role.
“Coaching is where I started before I started MMA and its something I’ve always had an affinity for,” Couture told CagePotato. “I’m a much better technical athlete than I was in 2005 and I’m looking forward to sharing that with the fighters.”