Is Spike choosing lesser fights to favor Bellator?

by Jeremy Lambert | source:

This Saturday night SpikeTV once again provides a lead in to a UFC PPV by putting on two preliminary fights live on their network.

With a UFC 139 prelim card that includes the charismatic Tom Lawlor vs. an up and coming Chris Weidman, a battle between rising lightweights Gleison Tibau vs. Rafael dos Anjos, and a bantamweight fight between former champion Miguel Torres and Nick Pace; it’s a little surprising that Spike TV has chosen to air fights between Ryan Bader vs. Jason Brilz and Michael McDonald vs. Alex Soto.

And then you look at the Bellator 58 line up including champion Hector Lombard taking on Trevor Prangley in a non-title fight and champion Eddie Alvarez, easily the biggest draw in Bellator, defending his title against an undefeated Mike Chandler and it makes sense why Spike  chose a lackluster preliminary card.

The Spike TV prelims kick off at 8PM EST, which is about the same time Lombard and Prangley will be in the cage thanks to the 7PM EST Bellator start time. That means Alvarez and Chandler will be starting during the UFC broadcast on Spike.

Even though Bellator won’t be on Spike until 2013, SpikeTV is already doing their best to help out the #2 MMA promotion in the country. They’re airing commercials, they’re giving CEO Bjorn Rebney and certain fighters time on TNA Impact and other Spike original shows, and now they’re putting on uninteresting prelim fights so MMA fans will be more likely to tune in to MTV2.

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Recent Comments »

BushidoAristotle site profile image  

11/19/11 8:35 PM by BushidoAristotle

Looks like Spike picked the right fights . . .

Nexus_Rising site profile image  

11/19/11 12:47 PM by Nexus_Rising

Can anyone clear up the Lawlor/Weidman deal? I could have sworn they were confirmed for the Spike slot on MMAJunkie when the fight was first announced.It makes absolute zero sense that a guy who has never fought in the UFC is on Spike over a guy who just beat a former title challenger and the number one prospect in not just the division but the sport in general.

Haadogei site profile image  

11/19/11 12:43 PM by Haadogei

1 - Is there a sauce that says Spike TV picks the prelim fights with no control by UFC? I never heard that before. 2 - Bader is easily the biggest draw of anyone on the undercard. The UG and other message boards have a totally warped view of real world popularity. He is more famous than Torres by a little and everyone else by a lot. 3 - UFC is desperate for any BW contenders right now as Cruz has quietly cleaned out the top of the division. It is obvious they would want to push Macdonald as a guy who is at least a reasonable contender in 2012. So the 2 fights do make sense for UFC to put on tv. I think you are mistaken, Jeremy, that the vast majority want to see these other fights. The hardcore fans are a vocal minority but if you polled the overall public, Ryan Bader would be the top choice for the Spike show. The ratings will be the highest based on Bader fighting, regardless of the 2nd fight. I would also rather see Weidman and Torres than MacDonald but I can see a method to their madness - Torres needs 2 wins to get back to title contention and they dont need/want Weidman in the mix just yet. MacDonald can help them in the near future if he wins impressively.

Chuck Kongo site profile image  

11/19/11 12:23 PM by Chuck Kongo

And if Bellator were the ones actually spearheading the shady tactics against the UFC that would be perfectly fine. But they're not. Spike is. Explain to me what the rival fight promotion Bellator had to do with the petty and shady bait and switch tactics Spike used aginst the UFC before and during the Cain/Junior fight? Absolutley nothing.

Sephiroth site profile image  

11/17/11 12:07 AM by Sephiroth

 I think it's funny they are trying to force Zuffa to buy back their fight library so they can air Bellator on Spike. It's quite clear that Spike is being some spiteful assholes in this scenario. Besides that I think this article is a crock of shit. Bader vs Brilz was an easy choice because Spike always airs prelims that feature former tuf winners and Bader was a top 6 fighter until 6 months ago. Plus Bader vs Brilz should be a good fight. Second Michael Mcdonald is a hell of a fighter. He is probably 1 of the top 5 bw prospects in the world. The writer acts like Spike is choosing the worst fights on the card. Spike had the option of choosing Castillo vs Bailey if they wanted to air a boring fight with little relevance but they didn't. They chose two very interesting fights with some damn talented fighters. Whoever wrote this article is an idiot.

IbarraRobles site profile image  

11/17/11 12:02 AM by IbarraRobles

Why would UFC even have these 2 (lackluster) fights for Spike to choose from? It's not difficult to put great fight in every card from now on... so many great fighters in theyre own div.

jimbobyeaboy site profile image  

11/16/11 10:44 PM by jimbobyeaboy

LOL they could put on the worst prelims possible and they still wouldn't get any viewers for Bellator.

JeremyLambert88 site profile image  

11/16/11 10:12 PM by JeremyLambert88

It's a pretty tongue in cheek article. Maybe it didn't come across that way, but that was my intention. It's obviously a conspiracy theory, but one that I believe has some merit given Spike's recent moves. My real problem is that there seems to be a conflict of interest for Spike given that they own Bellator but have UFC library rights until 2013. UG News kind of did me a disservice with their headline, making it seem like it's all about Spike choosing lesser fights, but that only affect the people who read the headline and not the article. If you read the article and still think it's only about this Saturday's moves, then I didn't do my job.And I'm far from a Dana-worshipper. I don't expect you to know my history since I'm not on the radar when it comes to MMA media, but I buried Dana for his comments on Saturday when he didn't give any credit to JDS and criticized Cain and have buried Dana plenty of times in the past for stupid comments. So don't just single me out because of one article. Facts are facts though, Dana has ended every single MMA company who he's viewed as a threat and if he begins to view Bellator as a threat when they move to Spike, he'll look to end them too.To people who said, "I guess he's seen the fights already" or w/e, that's just ignorant and worse than when Dana says it prior to a crappy card like UFC 138. Could Bader/Brilz and Soto/McDonald turn out to be good? Sure. Just like UFC 138 turned out to be good. If you're more interested in Soto/McDonald than Lawlor/Weidman or Torres/Pace, then more power to you. I think the vast majority would rather see one of the latter fights. Soto/McDonald might be a better fight at the end of the night, but it's about interest now, not how things turn out.Anyway, thanks everyone for reading. Even if you hated it or think I'm an idiot.

LilBrockonmychest site profile image  

11/16/11 6:23 PM by LilBrockonmychest

Ya how dare they try to increase viewers on a Saturday night. They should advertise for FOX, right? I mean, I'm sure that's what Dana and the UFC would do.