Bellator MMA is planning a move to Friday nights beginning with season nine in September, according to a report by Sports Illustrated.
The promotion moved to Thursday nights after shifting over to Spike TV earlier this year. The first season nine event, set for September 7, will air on Saturday.
After that, the remainder of the season is targeted for the 9 p.m.-11 p.m. ET time slot on Fridays, said Spike TV president Kevin Kay. Bellator previously aired on Friday nights when he was shown on MTV2.
“I don’t want to see Bellator going head to head with the UFC,” Kay said. “I don’t think that makes any sense for fans. No matter who would win in that scenario, you don’t want to not give the fans the choice to watch both.”
The UFC is planning Wednesday shows on FOX Sports 1, along with The Ultimate Fighter.
“Fight Master,” Bellator and Spike’s counter to TUF, will debut next Wednesday night after Bellator 96 and conclude the night of the season nine debut.
Fight Master will include the coaching of Randy Couture, Frank Shamrock, Greg Jackson and Joe Warren. Bellator recently announced the signing of another former UFC champion, Quinton “Rampage” Jackson. He could debut in September with the promotion.