Bellator Fighting Championships will debut on Spike TV with a pair
of title fights, as Michael
Chandler defends his lightweight championship against Rick Hawn in
Bellator 85 main event.
Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney announced the news during a Tuesday
conference call, also revealing that the Jan. 17 main card will
open with a featherweight title bout pitting reigning champion
Curran against Season 4 winner Patricio
“Pitbull” Freire. The show takes place at UCI Bren Events
Center in Irvine, Calif., and the evening’s two-hour main draw airs
live at 10 p.m. ET following Impact Wrestling.
A welterweight tournament showdown between War Machine
Daley was initially voted for by fans to open the show, but an
injury to War Machine
has delayed that booking. In addition to the bouts at the top and
bottom of the card, Bellator 85 will also see UFC veteran Renato “Babalu”
Sobral make his promotional debut in a tournament bout
Petruzelli and Jason
Lambert, and Season 8 will feature tournaments in five weight
categories ranging from featherweight to light heavyweight.
Previously, Bellator aired Friday nights on Viacom sister network
MTV2, but Thursday night will now be the promotion’s home moving
forward on Spike TV. The organization had initially reserved a Jan.
10 date in Atlantic City to kick off its eighth season, but that
plan was ultimately scrapped.