Bellator is coming to Spike.com.
So too, is the possibility of something much larger now that Bellator, rapidly becoming the world's next "number two" mixed martial arts promotion, has aligned itself with the "first network for men."
"We are thrilled to join forces with Spike.com," said Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney in today's release. "The Spike brand is synonymous with mixed martial arts worldwide and is another member of the MTV family, who does an incredible job in resonating with the hard-to-reach 18-to-34-year-old male audience."
"Synonymous" thanks largely in part to its previous relationship with Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), who used the cable television network as a proving ground for up-and-coming fighters on The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) reality show.
Can Bellator be soon to follow?
The UFC is headed for greener pastures on the FOX network after Spike balked at Zuffa's increased licensing fees during contract negotiations earlier this year.
With the end of the Spike TV "Prelims" specials and various other MMA-related programming, the network has a pretty sizable gap to fill if it hopes to retain the 18-34 demographic that tuned in for televised fisticuffs.
Can Bellator be the one to fill the void?
"Fight fans have been coming to our site for years for great mixed martial arts clips and information," said Erik Flannigan, Executive Vice President of Digital Entertainment for MTV. "Now we are thrilled to provide them with action-packed live fighting each week."
Spike.com will stream Bellator’s live undercard fights each week from 7:00-9:00 p.m. ET as a lead-in to MTV2’s live coverage of the Bellator Fighting Championships' fifth season, which kicks off this Saturday night at 9 p.m. ET.
It will also be simulcast in high definition (HD) on EPIX.
How about it Maniacs, is this the catalyst for Bellator eventually airing on Spike TV? And how would they fare if they did?