||09-01-2013 02:48 AM
Bellator Season 9 Discussion
Bellator MMA once again will have a new weekly home, this time on Fridays.
Bellator officials on Tuesday confirmed to MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) that the promotion will debut on a Saturday before moving to Friday nights the following week. Loretta Hunt of SI.com first reported the news after speaking to Spike TV President Kevin Kay.
Bellator's Season 9 debut is set for Saturday Sept. 7 on Spike TV, a card that serves as the promotion's live season finale for the "Fight Master" reality show/competition. That show debuts June 19 on Spike TV.
But after that event, likely Bellator 98, the promotion will move to Friday nights from 9-11 p.m. ET starting Sept. 13 for the rest of its ninth season.
Season 8 for the promotion, its first on Spike TV, took place on Thursday nights. But Kay told SI.com that the recent move for TNA Impact Wrestling to 9 p.m. ET on Thursdays meant Bellator only had a couple of options for its weekly slot on the cable network: Wednesdays or Fridays.
The UFC's move to FOX Sports 1 will include many Wednesday events, and Kay said that was a situation Spike TV and Bellator chose to avoid for the fans' sake.
"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."
Bellator is no stranger to Friday nights. The promotion made Fridays its home during its fourth through seventh seasons on MTV2 before moving to Thursdays for Season 8 on Spike TV. That season became its most widely viewed yet thanks in part to an increase in homes with Spike TV available and an increase in visibility for the channel over MTV2. Spike TV started airing MMA in 2005 with a partnership with the UFC and the first season of "The Ultimate Fighter."
Bellator kicks off its three-event 2013 monthly "Summer Series" later this month on Spike TV before settling into the fall season.
Bellator Season Nine Events
# Event Title Date Arena Location
98 Bellator XCVIII September 7, 2013 Mohegan Sun Arena Uncasville, Connecticut
99 Bellator XCIX September 13, 2013 Pechanga Resort & Casino Temecula, California
100 Bellator C September 20, 2013 Grand Canyon University Arena Phoenix, Arizona
101 Bellator CI September 27, 2013 Rose Garden Portland, Oregon
102 Bellator CII October 4, 2013 Visalia Convention Center Visalia, California
103 Bellator CIII October 11, 2013 Kansas Star Arena Mulvane, Kansas
104 Bellator CIV October 18, 2013 U.S. Cellular Center Cedar Rapids, Iowa
105 Bellator CV October 25, 2013 Santa Ana Star Center Rio Rancho, New Mexico
106 Bellator CVI November 2, 2013 Convention and Entertainment Center Long Beach, California
107 Bellator CVII November 8, 2013 WinStar World Casino Thackerville, Oklahoma
108 Bellator CVIII November 15, 2013 Revel Casino Atlantic City, New Jersey
109 Bellator CIX November 22, 2013 Sands Casino Event Center Bethlehem, Pennsylvania