If you've been pining for Bellator undercard fights, you're in luck. Beginning with this Saturday's season five debut, Spike.com, Spike TV's Internet arm, will stream undercard fights from 7:00-9:00 p.m. ET/PT, leading into the live broadcast on MTV2 and the HD simulcast on Epix.
Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney offered his thoughts on the deal in a press release:
"We are thrilled to join forces with Spike.com," said Rebney. "The Spike brand is synonymous with mixed martial arts worldwide and is another member of the MTV family, who does an incredible job in resonating with the hard-to-reach 18-to-34-year-old male audience."
The announcement further fuels the notion that Bellator will make a permanent move to Spike TV following their fifth season. The promotion signed a three-year agreement with MTV Networks (not directly with MTV2, which Rebney pointed out in this Sherdog interview) in December of 2010. With an opening left by the UFC's landmark deal with the Fox network, moving the fight promotion from MTV2, a network aimed at viewers in their teens and early twenties, to Spike TV, which wants to cater to male viewers aged 18-49, seems like an obvious choice.
Bellator 49 takes place this Saturday at Caesars Atlantic City in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Brent Weedman, Ben Saunders, and Dan Hornbuckle are featured participants in the opening round of a welterweight tournament.