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UFC Opens Door for Bellator to Grow

by Nitesh Dutt, October 28, 2011

With the MMA spectrum being dominated by the UFC, their deal with FOX and the future of Strikeforce, few people are aware of another MMA promotion that has quietly built its own audience and following. 

Bellator Fighting Championship is a sort of throwback to the days of UFC’s inception. It is a seasonal, tournament style that is quite different than anything mixed martial arts fans are used to.

It was safe to assume, for some time, that this promotion would go the way of EliteXC or King of the Cage. Promotions that had steady followings, but were unable to latch on to a mainstream audience like the UFC or Strikeforce has. The reason those promotions couldn’t were due to lackluster TV numbers and faulty television deals.

That’s where Bellator was headed with their tournaments being broadcasted on MTV2. That was until the UFC’s deal with FOX Sports left the door open for them to sign with VIACOM and Spike TV.

Making the move from MTV2, a channel that very few people have or watch, to Spike TV is the ideal situation for a growing brand. One, the demographic for Spike are men 18-34 which is the same demographic that watches MMA. Second, there is already a core group of MMA fans that watch Spike. Thanks in large part to the UFC, Bellator signing with VIACOM and Spike will broaden their audience.

Although this contract isn’t believed to begin until 2013, it promises that Bellator will have its place in MMA history and find its own glory.

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Will the audience that UFC leaves behind on Spike be there for Bellator? (photo courtesy of

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