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Randy Couture, Frank Shamrock, Greg Jackson, and Joe Warren tabbed as coaches on Bellator reality show

Frank Shamrock - StrikeforceThe questions surrounding Bellator’s upcoming reality show on Spike TV have finally been answered! While the program, titled Fight Master: Bellator MMA, does resemble the UFC’s Ultimate Fighter to a certain extent there are definitely enough differences to pique the interest of hardcore fans.

According an official press release, the program will feature 32 welterweights being whittled down to one last man standing over ten hour-long episodes. In addition to the prestige of emerging victorious, the winner will also earn a spot in the company’s Season 9 welterweight tournament. Taping begins this month with the first show airing at some point this summer.

Also intriguing, Fight Master will feature four coaches rather than two and competitors will have an opportunity to select both their squad as well as their opponents. Heading teams will be Randy Couture, Frank Shamrock, Greg Jackson, and Joe Warren.

Couture, a UFC Hall of Fame fighter and former double-division champion, expressed excitement about the opportunity, saying, “It is sort of a watershed moment. We can create more opportunity for more fighters in the sport of mixed martial arts.”

“The Natural” has also been linked to another show on Spike TV called Gym Rescue where he will help struggling MMA gyms re-establish some steam.

Regarding the rest of the trainers, Shamrock helped found American Kickboxing Academy as is a legend in the sport, while Warren is a former Olympian who has worn Bellator gold and Jackson is one of the most respected coaches in the business due to his work with the likes of Georges St-Pierre, Jon Jones, and countless others.


  • hindsightufuk says:

    nice to see real coaches as coaches, good start. lets see what else they got to bring

  • AlphaOmega says:

    Rumor is that due to this UFC has banned Couture from cornering his son, or from buying a ticket to any show.

  • Brendhan Conlan says:

    No rumor on that front. Dana White said it at the media scrum last weekend.

  • AlphaOmega says:

    Ah ok, I didn’t know if it’d moved to fact yet or not. That’s messed up though, basically he can’t watch his son fight live.

  • elsicilian says:

    UFC needs to ease up on stuff like that a bit … I understand they need to protect their brand, but it seems like they have already won the war, and now they are just being petty.

  • Richard Stabone says:

    Just a bunch of weirdo coaches as far as DW is concerned.

    Regarding the Couture situation, it’s more silliness from Dana. When it comes down to it I don’t think the UFC can dicate who is/isn’t in a fighter’s corner any more than they can dictate who is refereeing or judging the action. It’s a competition issue that should be above the rule of a power crazy, overly sensitive promoter. In any case, the fact Dana is willing to take a personal grudge so far that it would disrupt the preparation/coaching of one of the UFC’s contracted fighters is just the latest example of the man’s true colors.

    As for Bellator…wow. They have been gradually plugging along, mostly under the radar, but things are starting to get very interesting. Spike obviously played a big role in the UFC’s ascent from relative obscurity to mainstream success, only to have a bitter split (from Spike’s perspective anyway)… and now of course Spike is partnering with Bellator to carve their niche in the MMA landscape. Given the history, there is that much more motivation to make things work. Same type of thing with guys like Randy, Shamrock and Greg Jackson*.
    *BTW, if Dana can snap his fingers live a diva and prevent Randy from cornering Ryan, why wouldn’t he take the same appraoch with Greg Jackson? That weirdo coach has ruffled DW’s feathers before, and now he’s actively working with another MMA org on a project?? Oh no he di’int!! C’mon Dana…do what you gotta do, boss man.

    Back to the UFC & Bellator…. Bellator is becoming more of a pain in the ass for the UFC when it comes to fighter salaries. The Alvarez situation will likely make fighters think twice about agreeing to a match clause, but with Lombard and Alvarez it’s making life more difficult for the UFC. Sure the UFC might end up with both guys, but first they had to give Lomard a huge salary in order to bid beyond what they felt Bellator would match, and now with Alvarez things are being held up and–more significant–contract/salary details were leaked, which grabbed the attention of Bendo who quickly took to twitter to vent his frustration, and was promptly given a bump in pay. I doubt Bendo was the only fight team paying attention there. This is why competition is not good for the UFC. The ratings aren’t an issue. They can still blow the other orgs out of the water, and there’s no reason to bump up against each other anyway. But when it comes time to negotiate fighter salaries and there’s more of a free market, the UFC then has to pony up guaranteed money that is in line with what these guys truly deserve (relative to the revenue coming in).

  • MCM says:

    Are they also going to ban Greg Jackson from cornering his fighters, or is it just cause Randy is a UFC HOF’er?

  • AlphaOmega says:

    Greg Jackson has to many fighters in the UFC so I don’t think they can feasibly ban him from cornering his fighters without there being a huge problem. Couture will only corner one person most likely, his son, so it’s easier to do. And I think they can control somewhat who corners and who doesn’t, because I know one time Cung Le cornered a UFC fighter when he was still with SF, before Zuffa bought it, and he was banned from being allowed to enter the cage.

  • Richard Stabone says:

    Ah, I didn’t recall this sort of thing happening with Cung Le, so it’s interesting you mention that. So while this type of thing apparently isn’t completely without precedent, I have a feeling Cung probably felt like it wasn’t worth challenging (and might have been thinking more long term, not wanting to jeoparize his standing with Zuffa, and what has since become a very prosperous tenure in the octagon as one of the highest paid guys on the roster). But we all know Randy isn’t going to just back down. Regardless of the outcome, the whole thing just seems ridiculous…and for DW to top it all off by trumpeting this message at a press conference, draped in f-bombs, is just embarrassing.

    Back to Ryan Couture for a moment… I suspect the reason he’s even getting a shot in the UFC is the name recognition. In other words, they’re just going to make a little more money off the old man’s kid. They might try to give him some favorable matchups but there just aren’t too many of those at the UFC level, and the intrigue will be short-lived. I’d put the over/under at 2.5 fights for Ryan’s UFC career.

    BTW, anybody know how a typical UFC contract works? Say a guy sign’s a 6 fight or 3-year deal (whichever comes first), but loses his first two bouts and isn’t competitive… can they just cut him loose and not have to pay him the remaining chunk of the contract (freeing him up to sign elsewhere), or is there a buyout as part of the contract, or is it all guaranteed money, etc…

  • AlphaOmega says:

    As far as I know, the UFC has it in their contracts that they have the right to cut any fighter after a loss for whatever reason they want to, or I think if they feel that the fighter’s performance was sub par, which basically means if they sucked and have no name recognition. How I see Ryan’s contract going, is he gets one fight, if he loses he’s gone, and if he doesn’t win via a finish they will try and cut him as well.


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