After the organization’s most successful season to date, Bellator has decided to take a calculated risk and move the company’s cards to Friday nights instead of events going down on Thursdays as was the case this past spring. Though the change may irk a few fans, it appears that doing so was necessary based on concern about going up against the NFL.

According to CNNSI, Season 9 will debut on September 7 – a Saturday – in conjunction with the Fight Master finale. Then, starting the following week, programming will move to Fridays.

Spike TV President Kevin Kay expressed confidence in the decision, explaining, “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.

“There’s a lot of young men at home across [the] 18-49 [age demographic]. Gold Rush on Discovery does 4 million viewers on Friday nights. [The viewers] are there. You just have to give them the right thing and I think live fights on Friday, without competition, is going to be the best place for Bellator,” he concluded.

Friday night is certainly a familiar landing spot for longtime Bellator fans. The promotion previously held events on Fridays during its run on MTV2.