[AUDIO] Full Details on The Bellator Fight Masters Series on Spike TV With Comments and Audio From Randy Couture, Frank Shamrock, Spike TV Executives and More
Posted by Larry Csonka on 02.05.2013
The show is set for a summer debut, and will feature 32 welterweight fighters…
Last week it was announced that UFC Hall of Famer Randy Couture has signed a multi-year deal with Spike TV to appear in multiple projects for the cable channel, as well as other possible ventures within the media conglomerate's family of networks. As part of the agreement, Couture's first role will be as a coach in the forthcoming Bellator MMA reality Series, which begins shooting in February and airs later this year. Check out today's conference call with Spike TV and Couture to learn more about the deal…
You can listen to the call at this link, or via the player at the end of the recap...
Notes from before the call: Today it was announced that Couture will serve as a coach on the Fight Master reality show. Couture, Greg Jackson, Frank Shamrock and Joe Warren will oversee 32 up-and-coming fighters looking to fight their way through a win-or-go-home format into the Bellator tournament and a six-figure cash prize. Fight Master has been picked up for 10-episodes.
Couture will also host MMA Rescue, which will be a show similar to Bar Rescue, and will see Couture use his years of experience in the business of MMA to help turn failing gyms into successful businesses. MMA Rescue has been picked up for three episodes. Couture's deal also includes a first-look at new projects in a number of content categories, with Spike open to non-sports efforts.
-Spike TV's Kevin Kay discusses the show, and choosing Frank Shamrock, Randy Couture, Joe Warren and Greg Jackson.
-They wanted to find a show format that was similar to Bellator.
-The format for Fight Masters has the spirit of Bellator, which means the fighters control their destiny. The winner gets $100,000 and a shot in a Belltor tournament. The fighters will have to choose their trainers, and will also decide who they face in their fights.
-Bjorn Rebney joins the call and puts over the coaches they have selected for the show. The show is all about opportunity, and they are thrilled to work with Spike TV for the show.
-Bjorn says they have found a great roster of fighters to compete on the show.
-The show will begin taping shortly, and will debut this summer. The fighters will be seeded, and the person in the top position will get to make the first choice.
-As far as the weight classes, it is all one weight class, which will be welterweight.
-Couture is asked about the decision to leave the Zuffa family. He says that he is honored to come home to Spike, because they helped change the landscape for MMA and helped make it what it is today. Couture feels they have a chance here to create more chances for fighters.
-As far as his son staying with UFC and Dana's comments, Randy says Ryan is his own man and has to battle the burden of being his son. They discussed the matter, and Ryan feels confident in going to the UFC. Randy says Dana made the choice easy and that Dana has certainly helped with the publicity.
-As far as cornering Ryan in the UFC, he has no answer right now, but it is an athletic commission issue.
-He thinks the Spike deal is great for him as well as the sport.
-Randy refuses to comment on past UFC deals.
-He feels he is better now in his knowledge and can offer a lot to the fighters.
-Bjorn is asked about the reality MMA shows and how the people are influenced to act. Bjorn says this show will be about the coaches and the fighters. They have the best of the best is all angles of the show, and that is what they will rely on.
-Joe Warren puts over the wrestling background, and says that he learned from Randy, and he is excited to be working with him.
-Randy is asked about amateur wrestling coming to Spike TV, and he says that he and Joe can raise awareness to the sport. If the programming comes to Spike, that is yet to be seen.
-Randy is asked about what attracted him to Bellator, and he says it is nice to work with a new promotion. He has had fighters work for the company, like Michael Chandler, and feels that the show is a different feel and that is a good thing.
-When asked about further work with Bellator, he says he will just be doing the reality show at this point.
-Frank Shamrock is asked about Strikeforce closing and how he was upset. He says that when it closed, it was an emotional thing since he put so much into the promotion. But when he got the call, he felt the passion for the sport, which is what he is all about. MMA gave him everything, so if anyone wants to help the sport, he will support them. He is also happy to have a job again.
-Greg Jackson is asked about how his fighter sin the UFC will be affected by the deal, but he foresees no problem. He adds that the UFC had no clue he was going the show, because he had to keep it quiet. He is happy for the chance because he wants to help as many fighters as possible.
-They are making a show for diehard MMA fans as well as new fans. It will focus on fighting and strategy, not a house of drunks.
-Kevin Kay says he hopes to have Couture involved in MMA broadcasting, but for now, they are focused on the reality show.
-Randy says he is very excited for this new show, and is happy that he can finally talk about it.
-As far as Randy's deal, the sky is the limit. He is an actor as well, and there could be scripted shows or movies in the future for him. Randy says "hell yes" he would be interested.
-Bjorn says the Louisiana commission will oversee the show. They have worked with them in the past and they are great to work with.
-The finals of the show will take part on a regular Bellator event.
-On the MMA Rescue show, which Couture will host, they will cast like they do for Bar Rescue and Tattoo Rescue. Randy and his team will go into the gym and save it, again, similar to Bar Rescue and Tattoo Rescue. There is no date set for the show's debut.
-Randy says the deal has been in the works for months. He took a lot of things into consideration, because he knew it would cause waves with the UFC.
-He starts a new movie in March, once the show is done taping. He will continue to juggle a lot of balls career wise.
-Greg Jackson is asked about deciding to make the show, when he has refused to do TUF in the past. Jackson says that like Tandy said, you have to be a master juggler, and the schedule is "doable" thanks to his great supporting cast of assistant coaches.
-The coaches will be bringing their "A+ teams" with them for the show.
-Fights on the show will be two round fights.
-Joe Warren says he feels as if he is carrying the Bellator banner, since he has and still fights for the company.
-Jackson says he will leave the show at times to corner his established fighters at events.
-Bjorn is asked about Kurt Angle making a cameo on the show as a coach. He says it is possible, due to their alliance with TNA and Spike TV, but he will not confirm anything.
-They are asked about King Mo seeking a dual career in wrestling and MMA, and Randy Couture says that it will be difficult because it is two different styles of training. But he adds that it is doable.
-The fighters on the show will be fighters that could have possible been in a tournament and new faces. No one is talking themselves into a title shot in Bellator. He says there is amazing talent involved, some known, some about to be known. They feel that the winner will be a player for them at 170.
-Bjorn and his team worked hard on the casting for the show, and they are looking to make the best show possible.