There Will Be No Exhibition Fights For Bellator’s Reality Show Contestants
MMA Junkie reports that fighters on Bellator’s new reality show will not have exhibition fights.
Louisiana Boxing and Wrestling Commission Chairman Alvin Topham said that all fights on the program will be classified as two-round professional bouts. Official results from the show won’t be released until after each episode airs. Spike TV and Bellator executives confirmed the reality show today, which will be overseen by the LBWC when it begins filming at the end of the week.
A venue in the New Orleans area will host eight elimination fights, which will form the four teams led by Randy Couture, Frank Shamrock, Greg Jackson and Joe Warren. Bellator will seed elimination-round winners based on performance. The top seed gets to choose who he’ll fight in the next round. Sixteen welterweight contestants will be housed at the venue for a shot at a $100,000 tournament payout for winners.
Professional elimination bouts are very different from UFC’s approach with The Ultimate Fighter, which airs on FX after starting on Spike Tv. It was filmed in Las Vegas and featured exhibition bouts overseen by the Nevada State Athletic Commission. The fights did not count on a participant’s pro record.
Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney said fans can expect veterans and newcomers on the show. Some of the veterans wanted to go directly into a Bellator tournament but others saw the benefit of TV exposure.
Rebney added: “A lot of them look at it and say it’s an incredible branding opportunity.“