Between The Ropes MMA Podcast – June 20, 2013

btrlogoBrian and Steve finally look back at UFC 161 including Rashad Evans getting the victory over Dan Henderson, Korean Zombie getting a title show before Ricardo Lamas, Anthony Pettis trying to get another title shot and what division he will be in, the debut of Fight Master on Spike TV, last night’s Bellator fights, the Steve Mazzagatti controversy from the World Series of Fighting and more.

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Report: Bellator To Air on Fridays This Fall

Bellator-MMA-Onslaught-LogoBellator MMA will have a new weekly home this fall on Spike TV as it will be moving to Friday nights.

Loretta Hunt of SI.com broke the news after speaking with Spike TV President Kevin Kay.

Season 9 of Bellator will actually debut on Saturday, September 7 on Spike TV will will be the finale for the “Fight Master” reality show.  Then on September 13, the promotion will make the permanent move to Friday nights and will air weekly from 9:00-11:00p ET.

Kay admitted that with UFC airing weekly on Wednesday nights in the fall on Fox Sports 1 was part of the decision not to move to that night and instead opted for Fridays.

“I don’t want to see Bellator going head to head with the UFC,” Kay told SI.com. “I don’t think that makes any sense for fans. No matter who would win in that scenario, you don’t want to not give the fans the choice to watch both.”

Staying on Thursday nights was not a viable option either as the promotion did not want to go head-to-head with the NFL.

While “The Ultimate Fighter” reality show did some of its lowest ratings while on Friday nights, Kay told SI.com that he thinks Bellator will be able to hold up on that night.

The Ultimate Fighter on Fridays was doing over a million viewers a week. I’ll take that, and with live fights, I think we’ll do even better,” said Kay.

Video: TNA Debut of Quinton “Rampage” Jackson Facing Off With Kurt Angle

It didn’t take long for Quinton “Rampage” Jackson to start his new job.

During Wednesday’s press conference to announce Jackson’s signing a deal with Bellator and TNA Impact Wrestling, TNA President Dixie Carter said Jackson would be at last night’s TNA Impact Wrestling show in Atlanta. No one knew though what Jackson was going to do on the show.

It looks like the company has big plans for the former UFC light heavyweight champion.

Jackson was doing an in-ring interview with Jeremy Borash to discuss coming to TNA. Then former TNA and WWE champion Kurt Angle came out to cut a promo on Jackson.

Watch the video above and give us your thoughts on Jackson’s debut.

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Bellator Signs UK TV Deal

Bellator-MMA-Onslaught-LogoBellator is making more waves as today the MMA promotion announce a television deal with VIVA in the United Kingdom.  The first show will take place on June 19.

Below is the press release from Bellator:

Newport Beach, CA. (June 6, 2013) – Bellator MMA will now be available on television for the first time to the many passionate mixed martial arts fans in the UK, as it was announced today by Bjorn Rebney, Bellator CEO and Kevin Kay, Spike TV President. Viacom’s popular VIVA channel will begin airing live Bellator fights on Wednesday June 19 as part of the MMA league’s summer series tournament featuring a stacked card including King Mo, “Babalu” Sobral and War Machine.  In September, VIVA will telecast Bellator MMA’s 9th season.

Bellator’s foray into the UK market increases their global reach to 116 countries and territories. Available in every one of the UK’s 26 million TV households, VIVA has one of the highest profiles amongst 16 to 34-year-olds of any UK channel, with 50% of its audience comprised of that hard-to-reach demographic and one in four of that age group in the UK – 3.7 million viewers – tuning in to the channel each month.  Bellator is the first mixed martial arts franchise to be televised on the channel.

“We are thrilled to finally bring the pure excitement of Bellator MMA to the legions of dedicated and knowledgeable mixed martial arts fans in the UK,” remarked Rebney. “Our long awaited expansion into the UK, one of the world’s MMA hot beds further illustrates our continued ascension in the MMA world.

“This deal is game changer in the UK, giving Bellator the widest and deepest distribution of any MMA promotion in the marketplace,” said Kay.

Recently, Bellator MMA announced the signings of three of the UK’s top MMA fighters, Martin Stapleton, Rob Sinclair and Paul Sass. With the VIVA deal in place, Bellator will continue to aggressively pursue top British fighting talent.

Rampage Jackson Conference Call – June 5, 2013

rampage-jacksonQuinton “Rampage” Jackson talks to the media about his partnership with Spike TV, Bellator and TNA Wrestling, why he is so excited about this new deal, leaving the UFC and why this will be different and better for him, when he will be able to fight next, if he likes the tournament style in Bellator, being a wrestling fan growing up, actually getting in the ring and wrestling for TNA, his goals in fighting now, how much longer he would like to fight for, upcoming movie roles and more.  Also on the conference call are Bjorn Rebney of Bellator and TNA Wrestling President Dixie Carter.

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Between The Ropes MMA Podcast – June 4, 2013

rampagebellatorBrian and Steve discuss ‘Rampage’ Jackson signing with Bellator and TNA Wrestling, what kind of an impact he could have for both companies, whether or not he will be wrestling and what his role could be for TNA, what he has left as a fighter, Bellator switching to Wednesday nights on Spike TV, MMA contracts and more.

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‘Rampage’ Jackson Signs Deal with Bellator, TNA

rampage-jacksonBellator MMA along with TNA Wrestling announced today that Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson has signed a “multi-year, monumental partnership” that includes both MMA and pro wrestling.

As part of the deal, Jackson will also star in a reality TV show on Spike TV leading up to his MMA debut for Bellator.

“Rampage is a true superstar both inside and outside the MMA cage” Bellator CEO & Chairman Bjorn Rebney said. “The partnership that we’ve created with Quinton is unlike anything that’s ever been done in the sports & entertainment arena and Rampage is the perfect athlete/entertainer to carry it off.”

This deal is similar to one that Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal signed with the companies involved last year.  More details on this deal will be announced during a press conference on Wednesday in Los Angeles followed by a conference call with media.

“Rampage is one of the best known MMA fighters competing today,” said TNA President Dixie Carter. “He is a true cross-over star and his talent, big personality and popularity among a wide range of fans make him an extraordinary fit for our company.”

Jackson (32-11), a former UFC light heavyweight champion and Pride champion, left the UFC earlier this year following loses to Jon Jones, Ryan Bader and Glover Teixeira.  At that point, his relationship with the UFC and President Dana White had gone south to the point where both parties decided a split was necessary.

Spike TV is hoping that Jackson and his personality will help provide a ratings boost to both Bellator and TNA Wrestling.  It is not known yet what role Jackson will have with the wrestling company.

“We are thrilled to create this opportunity for one of the greatest athletes and personalities in MMA,” said Kevin Kay, Spike TV President. “Rampage is a proven ratings driver who brings incredible star power to both Bellator and TNA.”

TNA News: Impact Wrestling Moving Timeslot on Spike TV

Impact Wrestling is once again moving timeslots on Spike TV with TNA President Dixie Carter making the announcement on Twitter.

 

It was just over a year ago when Impact moved up to the 8:00p start time.  But since then, the first hour of the show has struggled in the ratings.

Part of the move up to the earlier time slot was to create a four-hour block between Impact Wrestling and Bellator Fighting Championships.  But the move can be made now with Bellator not running every week until at least the fall.

There is no word on if Bellator is being moved to a different night although that would seem likely with Impact Wrestling going back to the 9:00-11:00p ET time slot.

Spike TV Announces Cast of “Fight Master: Bellator MMA”

Fight Master Group Shot

SPIKE TV ANNOUNCES CAST OF “FIGHT MASTER: BELLATOR MMA”

32 Welterweights Battle for a Spot in the Bellator MMA Tournament

and $100,000 Prize Under the Tutelage of Fight Legends

Randy Couture, Greg Jackson, Frank Shamrock, and Joe Warren

 

Series Premieres Wednesday, June 19 at 10:00 PM, ET/PT

New York, NY, May 6, 2013 – The inaugural season of Spike TV’s “Fight Master: Bellator MMA” brings together 32 of the best welterweight (170 lbs) fighters on the planet to compete for a spot in the Bellator MMA Tournament, the toughest tournament in sports, and a $100,000 prize.  The series premieres on Wednesday, June 19 at 10:00 PM, ET/PT, featuring legends of the sport, Randy Couture, Greg Jackson, Frank Shamrock, and Joe Warren, as coaches.

From Salvador, Brazil to Newcastle, United Kingdom to Great Falls, MT, the 32 fighters have traveled from all corners of the globe to the bayou of New Orleans, and will live and train together in four camps led by the aforementioned legendary coaches.  This series is much more than just a tournament, as it will capture the reality of the competitors and the grueling training regimen it takes to become a world-class MMA fighter.

The concept of “Fight Master: Bellator MMA” is unprecedented in that the fighters control their own destiny.  They will choose which camp to train with and which opponent they want to fight next.  The 32 fighters will partake in qualifying bouts over the first three episodes of the series.  The finale will be telecast live on Spike with the winner moving on to an upcoming tournament.  Bellator announcer Jimmy Smith will serve as host.

The inaugural “Fight Master:  Bellator MMA” cast is comprised of the following:

Marcus Aurelio

Age: 26

Record: 6-2-0

Vancouver, British Columbia

Twitter: @barraozinho

 

Nick Barnes

Age: 22

Record: 5-0-0

San Diego, CA

Twitter:  @Nick_phoenix170

 

Eric Bradley

Age: 31

Record: 5-1-0

Las Vegas, NV

Twitter: @ericbradleymma

 

Mike Bronzoulis

Age: 34

Record: 15-5-1

Houston, TX

Twitter:  @thegreekmikeb

 

Frank Carrillo

Age: 29

Record: 6-3-0

Miami, FL

Twitter: @CarrilloMMA

 

Darryl Cobb

Age: 32

Record: 6-6-0

East St. Louis, IL

Twitter: @devistatdarryl

 

Christopher Curtis

Age: 25

Record: 7-2-0

Cincinnati, OH

Twitter:  @TheActionman513

 

Evan Cutts

Age: 22

Record: 5-1-0

Dallas, TX

Twitter: @TheButcherCutts

 

Mike Dubois

Age: 30

Record: 3-0-0

Thomasville, GA

Twitter:  @zombiemikemma

 

Tom Gallicchio

Age: 26

Record: 16-8-0

Howell, NJ

Twitter: @TomDaTank5

 

Ismael Gonzalez

Age: 32

Record: 11-10-0

Los Angeles, CA

Twitter: @Ismael_mma

 

Gareth Joseph

Age: 28

Record: 9-5-0

San Diego, CA

Twitter: @garethjoseph

 

Chris Lozano

Age: 30

Record: 9-3-0

Cleveland, OH

Twitter: @CLE_assassin

 

AJ Matthews

Age: 24

Record: 5-2-0

Carlsbad, CA

Twitter: @AJ_MMA

 

Rob Mills

Age: 35

Record: 8-2-0

Newcastle, United Kingdom

Twitter: @robmillsmma

 

Steve Montgomery

Age: 22

Record: 3-1-0

Florence, SC

Twitter: @WeaselSteve

 

Chip Moraza-Pollard

Age: 24

Record: 7-4-0

Plymouth, MA

Twitter:  @chipthesurgeon

 

Brett Nakamura

Age: 30

Record: 6-1-0

Maui, HI

 

Jason Norwood

Age: 28

Record: 12-3-0

Fort Hood, TX

Twitter:  @rightfight170

 

Dom O’Grady

Age: 31

Record: 15-5-1

Detroit, MI

Twitter: @Dom_OGrady

 

Jacob Ortiz

Age: 31

Record: 8-4-0

San Manuel, AZ

Twitter:  @KobeTheStunna

 

Josh Quayhagen

Age: 26

Record: 6-1-0

Lake Charles, LA

Twitter: @JoshQuayhagen

 

Joe Riggs

Age: 30

Record: 39-14-0

Phoenix, AZ

Twitter:  @DIESELRIGGSMMA

 

Eric Scallan

Age: 27

Record: 11-4-0

Lafayette, LA

Twitter: @EricScallan

 

Cristiano Souza

Age: 30

Record: 5-0-0

Salvador, Bahia, Brazil

Twitter:  @SouzaSoldierBoy

 

Brendan Tierney

Age: 37

Record: 10-5-0

Queens, NY

Twitter:  @Tiny_Shorts

 

Bryan Travers

Age: 29

Record: 13-3-0

Bakersfield, CA

Twitter: @BryanTravers

 

Andy Uhrich

Age: 27

Record: 8-3-0

Gering, NE

Twitter:  @stunneruhrich

 

Tim Welch

Age: 22

Record: 8-4-0

Great Falls, MT

Twitter:  @TimWelchMT

 

Cole Williams

Age: 30

Record: 5-1-0

Darian, WI

Twitter:  @havocole

 

Joe Williams

Age: 27

Record: 7-1-0

Tustin, CA

Twitter:  @jawmma

 

Artenas Young

Age: 32

Record: 9-5-0

Houston, TX

Twitter:  @MachineGunYoung

The series will delve into the fighters’ personal stories for a glimpse into the often arduous journey that led them to “Fight Master.”  Viewers will get to know the man behind the fighter, and follow them on their quest for victory.  Despite their wide variety of ethnic and economic backgrounds, these fighters all share the same goal – to learn from the sport’s finest trainers and earn a spot in the Bellator tournament.

Spike TV will telecast 10 one-hour episodes of “Fight Master: Bellator MMA.” Production begins in early February in Louisiana.  Two of television’s most acclaimed producers, eight-time Emmy® Award-winner Bertram van Munster and Elise Doganieri of Profiles Television Productions, the visionaries behind “The Amazing Race,” serve as Executive Producers.  Andrea Richter serves as Executive Producer as well and Sharon Levy, Executive Vice President, Original Programming, Spike TV, Tim Duffy, Senior Vice President, Original Programming, Spike TV, and Christopher Martello, Vice President, Sports and Specials, Spike TV, will oversee the project for the network.

About Spike:

Spike is available in 98.7 million homes and is a division of Viacom Media Networks.  A unit of Viacom (NASDAQ: VIA, VIAB), Viacom Media Networks is one of the world’s leading creators of programming and content across all media platforms.  Spike’s Internet address is www.spike.com and for up-to-the-minute and archival press information and photographs, visit Spike’s press site at http://www.spike.com/press.  Follow us on Twitter@spiketvpr for the latest in breaking news updates, behind-the-scenes information and photos.

Between The Ropes – October 11, 2012 | King Mo

King-MoBrian talks with King Mo about being the special enforcer at this Sunday’s Bound for Glory PPV in the match between James Storm and Bobby Roode, his Impact debut last Thursday, his wrestling training so far and what he been the toughest thing for him, his finishing move, when he plans to fight next, how important his first fight with Bellator is, when he thinks his first wrestling match will be and more.

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Between The Ropes – October 4, 2012 | Jeff Hardy

Brian speaks with Jeff Hardy about facing Austin Aries for the World Heavyweight Championship at Bound for Glory, being back in the main event, his future in wrestling, his past few years including what was his darkest moment, his music and more.

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