Former two-division UFC champion and UFC Hall of Famer Randy “The Natural” Couture feels his deal with Spike TV is a good opportunity and gets him back to his coaching roots.
“This is a fantastic opportunity for me moving forward and for the sport of mixed martial arts,” said Couture during a Viacom press conference on Tuesday.
“I think coaching is where I started. Before I ever started MMA, I was coaching at a university in Division I college wrestling. It’s something I’ve always had an affinity for. It’s something I enjoy. I’m certainly a much better technical athlete now than I was six, seven, eight years ago. All those things are things that bare on how I’ll coach and how I’ll relate to the athletes that I get to train on this show,” added Couture.
“It’s certainly nice to be working with a new promotion. I’ve been interested and had a couple of athletes that I’ve trained that have already competed in Bellator, some of them making it all the way through to title fights, one of them in particular winning a title in Michael Chandler. I like the progressive tournament format. You get a chance to pick an athlete early in the tournament, follow them all the way through and I think you get a more significant chance to really see them develop and compete. I think that’s what it’s about,” said Couture.
Former UFC, Strikeforce and WEC titleholder Frank Shamrock is excited for the reality show and what it can do for the sport of mixed martial arts.
“When Kevin Kay called me and told me what he wanted to do, I could hear the passion in his voice. I could hear what he wanted to do with this sport, and for me, it was always about this sport. This is one of the greatest sports. It’s given me every opportunity to be successful, my family, my community. Anyone who is willing to help out this sport and get behind it, I like to get behind them. I got off that phone call very excited about the future of this show and the opportunities and the coaches. He promised me the best in the world, and we got the best in the world. I’m just excited about what this show could do for the sport,” said Shamrock.
For Greg Jackson, coaching on “Fight Master: Bellator MMA” is about helping athletes achieve their goals.
“The important thing is you can help as many people as you can help. This gives me an opportunity, all of us really, an opportunity to kind of help these young fighters, up-and-coming that really work hard and deserve to have a place to showcase their skills, and it’s great they have this place,” said Jackson.
Greco-Roman wrestling standout and former Bellator featherweight champion Joe Warren rounds out the coaches and feels he’s carrying the Bellator flag into the reality show.
“I feel one advantage of being coached by me is being a person who has went through the tournament with Bellator and won a belt,” said Warren. “Also, I’ve been with Bellator since the beginning. I’m pretty much bleeding Bellator. For me to have that kind of experience with Bjorn (Rebney) and the organization I think is awesome. I think it will be a great coaching benefit.”