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

Watch The MMA Beat live today

  • 21 days ago
  • 4 views

On this week's episode of "The MMA Beat," the panel will discuss the new Reebok compensation terms, the revamping of the UFC Hall of Fame, Jon Jones fallout, and more. Watch "The MMA Beat" live today read news >>

UFC fighter tweets Reebok sponsorship payment numbers

  • 22 days ago
  • 837 views

The UFC today sent an email to fighters and managers detailing the promotion’s compensation tiers under a Reebok sponsorship deal set to take effect in July.Filed under: Featured, News, UFC read news >>

USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie rankings, May 5: A big week for the big men

  • 22 days ago
  • 5 views

Although this past weekend was void of big-show MMA, it returns this Saturday with UFC Fight Night 65, which features an important heavyweight fight.Filed under: Bellator, MMA Rankings, News, UFC, WS read news >>

Daniel Cormier finds notion he doesn't deserve another title shot 'very disrespectful'

  • 24 days ago
  • 51 views

Daniel Cormier heard the naysayers after the announcement he would step in and meet Anthony Johnson for the vacant light heavyweight title in the main event of UFC 187. The haters claimed that becaus read news >>

Kentucky Derby Odds 2015: Mayweather-Pacquiao cross-sport parlay betting specials

  • 26 days ago
  • 0 views

If you are a betting man, today's sports action is the day for you! If you are even more delighted by strange prop bets (similar to these), then we have got a treat for you on this stacked Saturday ( read news >>

Mayweather vs Pacquiao PPV: How to watch live stream, results, and fight details

  • 26 days ago
  • 11 views

Today, at last, Floyd Mayweather vs. Manny Pacquiao is live on PPV. Bloody Elbow has all the details on Mayweather vs. Pacquiao right here, including fight card, fight time, live stream info, results read news >>

Mayweather Pacquiao live stream of fight weigh-ins today

  • 26 days ago
  • 28 views

Watch the Mayweather vs. Pacquiao weigh-ins today in a live stream right here at Bloody Elbow. Weigh-ins begin at 6:00 p.m. ET. Don't miss them! Saturday night, boxing takes center stage with what is read news >>

Video: Mayweather-Pacquiao weigh in results with live stream updates today

  • 27 days ago
  • 36 views

So close. The official countdown to fight night (Sat., May 2, 2015) has finally begun, with Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao set to weigh-in today for their historic 147-pound clash tomorrow eveni read news >>

Watch The MMA Beat live today

  • 28 days ago
  • 16 views

On this week's episode of The MMA Beat, the panel will discuss all things Jon Jones: from his arrest, to getting stripped of the belt, to losing sponsors. Where does Jones go from here and what to ma read news >>