Greg Jackson, Frank
Shamrock and Joe Warren
will join Randy
Couture as coaches on Bellator’s
upcoming Spike TV reality show.
Bellator officials announced the news Tuesday during a press
conference in Santa Monica, Calif., revealing that the series will
be titled “Fight Master: Bellator MMA.” The show will see 32
welterweights compete for a single spot this fall in a Bellator
tournament, the winner of which earns $100,000. The show will be
shot in Louisiana and will debut this summer, though a premiere
date has not yet been set.
The show’s first episode will feature eight elimination fights, and
subsequent episodes will showcase at least one fight each. Fighters
will live and train together under the tutelage of the
aforementioned coaches while competing in a single elimination
tournament. Seeded from top-to-bottom, the fighters will be given
the ability to choose both their opponents and their coaches, with
the top seed choosing first.
The show’s finale will be broadcast live on Spike, and Bellator
color commentator Jimmy Smith
will serve as the series’ host. Executive produced by “Amazing
Race” creator Bertram van Munster, the series is slated to contain
10 hour-long episodes. Bellator officials confirmed that all bouts
taking place on the show will be overseen by the Louisiana State
Boxing and Wrestling Commission.
The founder of Jackson-Winkeljohn MMA in Albuquerque, N.M., Jackson
has gained a reputation as one of the sport’s premier trainers.
Jackson has trained multiple world champions, including reigning
UFC light heavyweight ruler Jon Jones and
UFC welterweight king Georges St.
A former UFC and Strikeforce champion, Shamrock retired from active
competition after suffering a 2009 second-round technical knockout
at the hands of Nick Diaz. In
addition to his fighting career, Shamrock also served as a color
commentator for Strikeforce.
The only coach who is also an active fighter, Warren captured
Bellator’s featherweight title in 2010. After relinquishing that
belt to Pat Curran
last year, the self-proclaimed “Baddest Man on the Planet” returned
to 135 pounds this past November, taking a unanimous decision over
Evinger at Bellator 80.
A five-time world champion and UFC Hall of Famer, Couture last
competed in 2011, falling via knockout to Lyoto
Machida at UFC 129. Outside of the cage, Couture has performed
as a both a fight commentator and an actor on the silver screen,
notably appearing in “The Expendables” and its 2012 sequel.