Greg Jackson, Frank Shamrock and Joe Warren will join Randy Couture as coaches on Bellator’s upcoming Spike TV reality show.
Bellator officials announced the news Tuesday during a press conference in Santa Monica, Calif., revealing that the series will be titled “Fight Master: Bellator MMA.” The show will see 32 welterweights compete for a single spot this fall in a Bellator tournament, the winner of which earns $100,000. The show will be shot in Louisiana and will debut this summer, though a premiere date has not yet been set.
The show’s first episode will feature eight elimination fights, and subsequent episodes will showcase at least one fight each. Fighters will live and train together under the tutelage of the aforementioned coaches while competing in a single elimination tournament. Seeded from top-to-bottom, the fighters will be given the ability to choose both their opponents and their coaches, with the top seed choosing first.
The show’s finale will be broadcast live on Spike, and Bellator color commentator Jimmy Smith will serve as the series’ host. Executive produced by “Amazing Race” creator Bertram van Munster, the series is slated to contain 10 hour-long episodes. Bellator officials confirmed that all bouts taking place on the show will be overseen by the Louisiana State Boxing and Wrestling Commission.
The founder of Jackson-Winkeljohn MMA in Albuquerque, N.M., Jackson has gained a reputation as one of the sport’s premier trainers. Jackson has trained multiple world champions, including reigning UFC light heavyweight ruler Jon Jones and UFC welterweight king Georges St. Pierre.
A former UFC and Strikeforce champion, Shamrock retired from active competition after suffering a 2009 second-round technical knockout at the hands of Nick Diaz. In addition to his fighting career, Shamrock also served as a color commentator for Strikeforce.
The only coach who is also an active fighter, Warren captured Bellator’s featherweight title in 2010. After relinquishing that belt to Pat Curran last year, the self-proclaimed “Baddest Man on the Planet” returned to 135 pounds this past November, taking a unanimous decision over Owen Evinger at Bellator 80.
A five-time world champion and UFC Hall of Famer, Couture last competed in 2011, falling via knockout to Lyoto Machida at UFC 129. Outside of the cage, Couture has performed as a both a fight commentator and an actor on the silver screen, notably appearing in “The Expendables” and its 2012 sequel.