During the special announcement press conference that was held today, it was announced that they signed an exclusive partnership with cable network Showtime.
Showtime will be the exclusive home for Bellator MMA live events. This will start on Friday, April 2nd starting with a featherweight title bout at Bellator 255: Patricio Freire vs Emmanuel Sanchez.
Stephen Espinoza, Showtime Sports president states: “We’ve been interested in MMA for quite a while, we have a long history with MMA that goes back for 15 years to the dates of Elite XC and Strikeforce. We built some big names and stars: (Daniel) Cormier, (Luke) Rockhold, (Roda) Rousey, (Gilbert) Melendez and on and on. And of course, we’re the first to bring MMA to a national televised network and of course that was CBS way back in 2008. The time just felt right to combine forces Bellator has matured and elevated itself at a point where it now belongs in premium television network.”
Bellator also announced that its next grand prix will be at light heavyweight bout. The tournament is set to start on April 9 at Bellator 256 with the first two quarterfinal matchups: Ryan Bader vs. Lyoto Machida and Corey Anderson vs. Dovletdzhan Yagshimuradov.
The other two quarterfinal matchups are scheduled for April 16 at Bellator 257 as champion Vadim Nemkov will be defending his title against Phil Davis and Anthony Johnson vs. Yoel Romero. All four fights on both events will take place at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn., and air on Showtime.
The month of May sees newly crowned bantamweight titleholder Juan Archuleta takes on No. 1-contender Sergio Pettis on May 7.
The Showtime subscription cost is $10.99 a month, but Bellator is offering a free 30-day trial followed by a six-month period at $4.99 a month. As we know, Scott Coker has along history with Showtime with Strikeforce airing on the network from 2007-13.