Bellator Fighting Championships will be ending its run on MTV2 this year and begin its contract with former UFC partner Spike TV in 2013. The company is aiming to increase the amount of tournaments next year in an effort to increase the amount of title fights in the promotion. MMAJunkie spoke to Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney about the new plans with our own sources confirming the plans.
The promotion has set 25 events for this year with another 25, and possibly more, for next year on Spike. The promotion has already begun working with the TV company, who streams the promotion’s preliminary cards via their website, on how to better present their product.
Rebney stated the focus will be on keeping their champions more active next year through bigger and faster tournaments. Bellator’s desire to increase their champions workloads is best illustrated by the fact that only welterweight champion Ben Askren has defended his title more than once in 2012.
Rebney told MMAJunkie:
“If you look at the champions in the other organization, the UFC, they’re fighting on average two times to defend the belt per year, and sometimes three if they can squeeze it the right way,” Rebney said. “We’re going to have that same dynamic. We’re going to look optimally to get to three title defenses per year.
“We want guys fighting every four, four-and-a-half months per year.”
The Bellator CEO also insisted that the reason some of their fall tournaments lack recent additions of firepower to the roster is because they are saving some of their bigger and more exciting names for their Spike debut next year.
Bellator will return to action later this month for the kickoff of their seventh season at Bellator 74 on September 28.