Bellator Moving to Friday Events in 2012

Promotion will go head-to-head with ‘The Ultimate Fighter’ on FX

Bellator Fighting Championships, the most prominent non-Zuffa owned MMA promotion in North America, will move its next season of events to Friday nights.

The promotion announced the move on Monday.

The change from Saturday nights to Friday means Bellator, with events that air on MTV2, gets out from a head-to-head battle with the UFC and Strikeforce’s Saturday shows. But the trade-off is that Bellator will still have to compete against the two – going head-to-head with the UFC and its new Friday live format for “The Ultimate Fighter” on FX and Strikeforce Challengers shows that have frequently aired on Fridays on Showtime.

Rebney told USA Today the move did have to do with competing against Bellator’s Saturday MMA competitors, but also against other factors, including college football in the fall. Rebney said the promotion also had to figure out how to get the most people to its traveling live shows based on the night of the week.

Bellator is entering its sixth season and has held nearly 60 live events since its debut in April 2009. The Chicago-based promotion features a format that revolves around season-long tournaments that crown winners who then meet that weight class’s champion for a shot at the title.