The cat was let out of the bag a few weeks ago that Spike TV were ear-marking a Thursday night slot for Bellator’s live events when the MMA promotion moves over to the network in 2013, and it’s now been made official.

The action is set to begin on Thursday, January 17th and they are kicking off the season with a bang with two title fights.

Featherweight champion Pat Curran defends his title against Patricio ‘Pitbull’ Freire in the main event, while lightweight title holder Michael Chandler will take on season 6 tournament winner Rick Hawn.

In addition the event will also feature the unveiling of one of their big new signings, former UFC and Strikeforce fighter Renato ‘Babalu’ Sobral who’ll face Mikhail Zayats in a light-heavyweight quarter-final tournament bout.

At one stage there was a fear that Bellator might try to compete with the UFC by putting their events on the same night, but it’s good to see that common sense has prevailed and they’ve been kept separate.

Bellator have been consistently landing around 150-200,000 viewers this season on MTV2, and they’ll be hoping for a big boost in those numbers over on Spike TV, though it remains to be seen if they can get close to the sort of numbers that the UFC used to enjoy on the channel.