Bellator and Spike TV announced they will kick-start their partnership on Thursday, January 17 with two world title matches. Bjorn Rebney, the CEO of Bellator, made the announcement on Tuesday during a conference call.
The show will feature Michael Chandler and Rick Hawn for the Bellator lightweight title in the main event, while Pat Curran and Patricio Freire for the featherweight title kicks off the program at 10 p.m. ET following TNA Wrestling’s Impact.
“This is just a completely stacked show,” Rebney said. “Michael Chandler and Rick Hawn is one of the title fights I have been waiting for since Michael Chandler won the best MMA fight I’ve ever seen over Eddie Alvarez (in 2011).”
Rebney said the original plans were for War Machine and Paul Daley to begin the program, as they won the fan vote. However, War Machine suffered a knee injury and will be out for several months.
The second week will feature Bellator welterweight champion Ben Askren defending his title against Karl Amoussou, along with the Bellator debut of former Strikeforce light heavyweight champion Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal.
“We are going to keep that fire burning in the second week,” Rebney said.
Kevin Kay, the president of Spike TV, said “MMA is coming home to Spike, and we are truly excited to have Bellator on Spike.” He made the official announcement for the start time and date.
Tournaments for the season on Spike TV will be in the featherweight, lightweight, welterweight, middleweight and light heavyweight divisions, according to Rebney.