Will Bellator go head to head with the UFC?

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Sometimes the similarities between MMA and pro wrestling get kinda creepy. And no, not just in how things are booked or promoted. Even when it comes to business. Dave Meltzer discusses Bellator’s most recent timeslot change:

 

Wednesday looks like a favorite, given Spike moved Ultimate Fighter to that night and had success. In addition, Spike is clearly trying to get fans familiar with watching on that night with the Fight Master reality show, a Bellator product, airing at 10 p.m. on Wednesdays. from June 19 to August 21.

Wednesday is also the most intriguing, because UFC is staking the claim to Wednesday night as its night, starting on Aug. 27. During the fall, it will air UFC Tonight and The Ultimate Fighter weekly on Wednesdays, as well as live fights, not weekly, but on a regular basis.

Yes, Bellator may decide to go head to head with those upcoming weekly UFC events. Now before you say this sounds like suicide, here’s where the ghost of pro wrestling history comes in. Back in the mid-90s, a promotion called WCW managed to give the WWE a run for its money and a big part of doing that is attributed to going head to head with Monday night programming. It was a ballsy move that paid off as people ate up the feud angle between the two companies as eagerly as the feuds between all those dudes in spandex.

Could the same kind of thing happen if Bellator hits up the same night as the UFC? Would fans channelsurf between the shows and stay with whatever fights entertain most? Or would the UFC suck up all the oxygen and ratings and crush Bellator easily? Sending your fledgling MMA promotion off to war with the UFC just when it’s starting to really get going seems foolish to me, but keep in mind there could be dick swinging involved here. From that perspective, an attempt to recreate the Monday Night Wars on Wednesday might be hard to resist.

  • drunkenjunk

    Its still different. When WCW went head to head then they were taking huge talent with them from the WWF. They brought Lex Lugor, Kevin Nash, Scott Hall, Hogan and some other big names.
    For Bellator to do what WCW did, they’d have to take some top 10 fighters from each weight class. Bellator doesn’t have the names unless you count that sack of shit king mo or babalu.

  • Mixed Martial Adam

    I agree, going head to head with the UFC would be different if Bellator had comparable talent, production value and as deep a roster. But they don’t and it will probably get ugly quickly.

    That being said, it may be smart of them to recognize that the UFC is saturating the market and that fans don’t have time to watch multiple MMA events each week. If they have their product on the same time as the UFC, fans may switch back and forth between the two which will increase their numbers. If Wednesday is UFC night (thusly MMA night), then maybe Bellator is smart to take that slot as well hoping for a crossover. Especially in the case of a lackluster UFC event.

  • jimbo

    WCW picked up WWE viewers and actually beat them in the ratings at a time for a few reasons… signing huge draws, WCW started an hour earlier and they would tell their viewers what happened on WWE as WCW aired live when, at the time, WWE was taped. If this fight master series is on another level they might be able to hold their own against the UFC with the attention and the new talent they acquire from the show, Otherwise their 700k average weekly viewership (If I remember right?) from this past season will take a dive.

  • CAP

    Damn it reeks of spandex in here. I’d rather watch live Bellator fights over UFC “programming” myself. Plus I don’t even know if I will get the rebranded Fox channel for all this new ufc chit.

    But how sweet would it be if Bellator had a Dana White look a like and his midget side kick (J. Silva) show up cage side for a take over ala NWO!

  • agentsmith

    Putting Bellator’s presumably shitty reality show up against live UFC fights? Goddamn right that’s suicidal.

  • Reverend Clint

    Bjorns a scumbag retard with a stupid name

  • frickshun

    Hahahaha. Bjorn Valbjorn will fail. Do they seriously think if there’s a boring UFC fight between relative unknowns that fans will turn to Bellators lesser skilled unknowns??

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