USA TODAY: Spike TV's 'Fight Master' focuses on MMA reality


fight-master-coaches.jpg(This story appears in today’s edition of USA TODAY.)

When he first heard Spike TV’s pitch for a reality show concept involving the Bellator MMA fight promotion, Frank Shamrock didn’t believe it.

“They told me they were going to give me my own dojo and my own guys and let me train them entirely in my own method,” Shamrock, a former UFC and Strikeforce champion who serves as one of four coaches on the show, told USA TODAY Sports and MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com). “I thought, ‘No, you’re not going to do that, not really.’ But they really did.”

The premise for Fight Master, Spike TV’s new MMA-themed reality TV show that premieres tonight (10 p.m. ET/PT), is fairly simple. It’s also not so different from how the MMA world works when cameras aren’t rolling.

The show takes a field of 16 fighters, whittled down from an original cast of 32 aspiring cast members, and allows them to choose one of four coaches who they will believe will help them win the ensuing single-elimination tournament.

“That’s more real-life,” said Greg Jackson, a longtime MMA coach who’s worked with numerous UFC champions, and who also runs one of the sport’s most prominent gyms out of Albuquerque. “Nobody has to work with me.”

Along with Jackson and Shamrock are former UFC champion Randy Couture and former Bellator titleholder Joe Warren. The show allows the winners of the first round of fights – imagine an audition, only much more violent – to choose his team based on a brief interview with each coach.

For the fighters, the goal is to choose wisely and win the whole tournament. For the coaches, it’s clearly more about bragging rights.

“The interesting thing about this show is that the athletes have their fates, their destiny in their own hands,” Couture said. “But us coaches are competitive, too. We’re in this to win and to have the best guy.”

As for why Spike TV is in it, that probably has a lot to do with the success it found promoting its previous broadcast partner, the UFC, via “The Ultimate Fighter” reality TV show. Spike TV aired 14 seasons of the show before the UFC fled for a deal with Fox and FX in 2011.

Now Spike TV’s parent company, Viacom, owns a majority stake in the Bellator MMA organization, which kicks off a new season of events tonight prior to Fight Master. It’s no surprise that the media giant would be looking to promote Bellator with the tried and true reality TV show formula. The question is, how do you start a new MMA show without looking like a rip-off of the old one?

According to Warren, it’s by focusing more on the sport and less on typical reality show antics.

“I believe it’s probably the most educated fight show you’ll see,” Warren said. “It focused more on the actual training and not just the personalities. It gets into more of the technical side. Like, how do you actually take someone down? Fight fans will be able to sit on their couch and realize, ‘Oh, so that’s how that works.’”

For more on Bellator’s upcoming schedule, including tonight’s Bellator 96 event, stay tuned to the MMA Rumors section of the site.

(Pictured: Frank Shamrock, Randy Couture, Greg Jackson and Joe Warren)

view original article >>
Report here if this news is invalid.

Related News

  • 28 days ago
  • 32 views

Check out the winners of the second season of Arab MMA reality show 'Al Batal.' The second season of Arab MMA reality show ‘Al Batal' culminated last week with the crowning of the two champions in th read news >>

  • 22 days ago
  • 8 views

LAS VEGAS -- MMA Fighting's Ariel Helwani, Dave Doyle, and Chuck Mindenhall break down the top storylines coming out of UFC 182. Check out the post-fight show above. read news >>

  • 18 days ago
  • 0 views

Bellator MMA announced two programs for Spike TV this Friday night (Jan. 9, 2015) as it builds up to the big Bellator 132 card on Jan. 16, featuring Patricio "Pitbull" Freire defending his featherwei read news >>

  • 16 days ago
  • 7 views

GLORY kickboxing returns to the Spike TV airwaves on Feb. 6, 2015 at 9 p.m. ET from inside the Hampton Coliseum in Hampton, Virginia. That's where world heavyweight champion Rico Verhoeven (44-9-0, 1 read news >>

  • 16 days ago
  • 2 views

Fight Fans today on The SnP Show Syndee and Poetrynmotion spoke to Invicta FC fighter Andrea "KGB" Lee about her MMA career and was able to ask her some fun read news >>

  • 9 days ago
  • 4 views

MMA Fighting's Ariel Helwani and Chuck Mindenhal take a closer look at the top storylines heading into Sunday night's UFC Fight Night 59, including Conor McGregor and Dennis Siver squaring off in the read news >>

  • 8 days ago
  • 8 views

BOSTON -- MMA Fighting's Ariel Helwani and Chuck Mindenhall break down the top storylines coming out of UFC Fight Night: McGregor vs. Siver. Check out the post-fight show above. read news >>

  • 4 days ago
  • 9 views

Slice vs. Ortiz could very well be Spike TV's dream come true. Former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) and Elite XC vet, Kevin "Kimbo Slice" Ferguson, will make his return to the sport of mixed m read news >>

  • 4 days ago
  • 2 views

"Iron Mike" will be talking shop with GLORY heavyweight champion Rico Verhoeven and Errol Zimmerman in a special half-hour program on Spike TV. The show will preview the GLORY 19 main event and air o read news >>