Retired MMA superstar Randy Couture is reported to be heading to Spike TV after signing a new multi-year deal with the network to appear in “multiple projects”.
That’s the word from SI.com who got the scoop ahead of a February 5th press conference where the deal was set to be unveiled to the public.
There’s no indication that Couture will be coming out of retirement, but he is expected to take on one of the coaching roles for Bellator’s new ‘TUF’ style reality show on Spike TV which will begin filming in February and will be broadcast later this year.
The deal could also see Couture appearing in various other television roles on both Spike TV and other Viacom owned networks.
It’s an ambitious move from Spike TV and a controversial one for Couture who’ll essentially be going into competition with the UFC. Prior to this deal Couture had appeared several times as an analyst on the UFC’s FOX brodcasts, though last Saturday night it was Brian Stann and Chael Sonnen who were at the broadcast booth.
Of course it won’t be the first time the hall-of-famer has done so as he was involved in a heavily-publicized dispute with the UFC back in 2007 which lead to him handing in his resignation and attempting to arrange a fight Fedor Emelianenko though that never materialized and over a year later he re-signed with the UFC.
It’s also not the first time that Couture has fronted an MMA based reality show – he was also a coach on the very first season of ‘The Ultimate Fighter’ opposite Chuck Liddell back in 2005 which just happened to be broadcast on Spike TV and would help take the UFC to the next level.
Spike TV will no doubt be hoping that lightning can strike twice and their latest reality show offering can catapult Bellator to new heights.
Bellator’s TV ratings have certainly risen sharply already since moving from MTV2 to Spike TV at the start of the year, with their show last Thursday pulling over 800,000 viewers – more than quadruple the number they were producing just a few months ago.
Couture will be the biggest name ever associated with the Bellator promotion, even if it is only to be in a capacity outside the cage so this can only be a good thing for them.