(Kevin Marshall's opinions are his own and do not necessarily represent those of Spike.)
A lot of changes are in store for Spike once we hit January 1st, 2013. Needless to say, it's going to be an exciting year and we're excited about the return of combat sports to Spike. Here are five reasons why you, too, should be popping the cork for the new year.
And who can complain about that?
Well, as MMA fans, we all know the perils involved in a promotion doing more fights than it or potentially its fighters can handle. But in addition to MMA coming home
with the debut of Bellator
on Spike, we'll also see the debut of K-1
kickboxing, making Spike the premiere cable outlet for combat sports as a whole.
One thing you can definitely look forward to is not only more fights, but more exciting
fights. Just last week on Bellator's flagship program (currently airing on MTV2 and streaming online for free at Spike.com
), four of the five fights that aired live on television ended with a knockout or a submission. Throw K-1 into the mix and you're going to have no shortage of guys who are more than happy to relieve the judges at ringside of their duties: nine of the fights that occurred at "K-1 Rising" in Los Angeles on September ninth ended in a knockout or TKO. Both promotions feature fighters that don't just go in to survive, they go in to win and do it decisively.
What sets Bellator apart from the competition is its unique and exciting tournament format. What you may not know is that K-1 is also known internationally for its Grand Prix tournaments, some of which are the stuff of legend in the fight world. Those of you who were lucky enough to catch the "K-1 Rising" event on September 8th got a glimpse of what K-1 has to offer.
And who doesn't love tournaments? They're the foundation of MMA and at their core exemplify the ideals of the sport by whittling down the competition until only the absolute best is left at the end. It removes the problem of having to speculate who may be next in line for a title shot and whether or not they actually earned it. It's the simplest, oldest, and still most exciting method of finding challengers and determining champions.
THE RETURN OF THE KING
King Mo is set to make history by becoming the first man ever to compete simultaneously
for Bellator and IMPACT WRESTLING
. He's already lived up to the latter's namesake the last two weeks, making himself known to both Bobby Roode AND James Storm.
In 2013, barring any unforeseen circumstances, he'll make his debut for Bellator. As a legitimate top tier Light Heavyweight, Mo not only adds name value to the promotion but will also make the competition that much better.
IT'S ABOUT TO GET REAL
In addition to their fight cards and tournaments across various weight classes, Bellator has announced that it will do a reality show in 2013
and will do tryouts
for Lightweight (155) and Welterweight (170) fighters.
Having already established itself as a promotion that uses unique methods to ensure only the best fighters are showcased, it's announced requirements that are unprecedented for MMA reality shows: all applicants must not only have a minimum of three professional fights but also have a winning record. This will ensure that competition remains the driving force behind the promotion, ensuring quality fights involving quality fighters.
No date is set yet, but knowing their unique approach to presenting MMA, it's sure to be something you won't want to miss.
Image: Eric Coleman /Eric Coleman Photography /Bellator Fighting Championships