Former UFC champion and UFC Hall of Famer Randy Couture has signed a deal with SPIKE TV and will reportedly coach on the upcoming Bellator MMA reality TV show that will air on Spike TV.
Sports Illustrated reporter Loretta Hunt broke the news:
SI.com has confirmed through multiple sources that UFC Hall of Famer Randy Couture has signed into a multi-year deal with Spike TV, a property of Viacom, to appear in multiple projects for the cable channel, as well as other possible ventures within the media conglomerate’s family of networks.
As a part of the multi-faceted agreement, Couture’s first role will be as a coach in the forthcoming Bellator MMA reality Series, which begins shooting in February and airs later this year.
Spike TV will unveil this industry-shifting announcement on Feb. 5 during a press conference in Los Angeles, where Couture and Spike TV president Kevin Kay will discuss details of the agreement and what the 49-year-old retired fighter’s role will be on the Bellator series and possibly other Spike-broadcasted projects. The series is expected to feature a number of current and up-and-coming Bellator fighters.
Smart move for Bellator. You have a former fighter with incredible credentials that got introduced to the MMA masses on Spike TV as a coach on the inaugural season of “The Ultimate Fighter” in 2005. It’ll be interesting what type of reaction this drew from UFC brass as they were reportedly not happy with the decision. Couture has bumped heads with the UFC before when he tried to get out of his UFC contract for the opportunity to fight Fedor Emelianenko a few years ago. Couture and the UFC were involved in litigation which ultimately ended with Couture returning to the UFC to honor his contract.
Couture (19-11) has been retired from MMA action since getting knocked out by Lyoto Machida at UFC 129 in April 2011. An announcement is expected to take place on February 5th.
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