Spike TV to Become Paramount Network in Viacom Rebranding
There's a big change coming to Spike TV.
Viacom's male-focused cable network, home to Lip Sync Battle, is expected to be rebranded as the Paramount Network, The Hollywood Reporter has learned. A formal announcement will likely come Thursday morning when Viacom unveils its turnaround plan during its quarterly earnings call.
Sources tell THR that Spike chief Kevin Kay — who recently added oversight of CMT and TV Land to his purview of the Global Entertainment Group — is expected to remain in place. The rebranding could begin as early as 2018, sources say, and no personnel changes are expected to be made at this time. Representatives for Viacom and Spike declined comment, though a formal rollout strategy is expected to be part of Thursday's call.
Paul Daley vs. Rory MacDonald headlines Bellator 179 in London
Paul Daley called out Rory MacDonald after scoring a vicious knockout in his last appearance inside the Bellator cage, and he got the fight he was hoping for.
Bellator officially announced on Thursday that “Semtex" will battle “Red King” in the main event of Bellator 179. The event takes place May 19 at London’s SSE Arena.
Eduardo Dantas vs. Darrion Caldwell 135 title fight headlines Bellator 177 in Budapest
Bellator is returning to Hungary this spring, and the bantamweight title will be on the line in Budapest.
Bellator 177 is set for april 14 at Budapest Sports Arena. In the main event, bantamweight champion Eduardo Dantas (19-4 MMA, 9-1 BMMA) is set to take on challenger Darrion Caldwell (10-1 MMA, 7-1 BMMA).
In addition, the card will feature a featherweight fight between Hungary’s Adam Borics (5-0 MMA, 0-0 BMMA) and Anthony Taylor (1-2 MMA, 1-2 BMMA).
Promotion officials announced the card and headliner today. The main card will air on Spike at 9 p.m. ET. Immediately following the MMA card, Bellator Kickboxing 6 will air on Spike at 11 p.m. ET, headlined by a welterweight title rematch between Zoltan Laszak and Karim Ghajji.
UFC boss Dana White watched Ortiz-Sonnen at Bellator 170 – and 'there's no way in hell' it was fixed
We’re 10 days removed from Tito Ortiz’s submission of Chael Sonnen in his retirement fight at Bellator 170, and there’s still just a little bit of talk left over for it.
After Ortiz (19-12-1 MMA, 3-1 BMMA) beat Sonnen (29-15-1 MMA, 0-1 BMMA) to tap to a choke in Bellator 170’s main event (watch the highlights above), some viewers said the only way to explain Ortiz’s win as a 2-1 underdog is that things weren’t on the up and up.
Ortiz spoke out against that, big time. So did referee John McCarthy. And on Tuesday, a defense of Ortiz’s rear-naked choke win came from what most people might consider a pretty unlikely source: UFC President Dana White.
Josh Koscheck vs. Mauricio Alonso added to Bellator 172 main card with Piccolotti-Primus canceled
Next month’s Bellator 172 card has lost a fight but gained two more, including the long-delayed promotional debut of former UFC title challenger Josh Koscheck.
Bellator officials today announced Koscheck will fight fellow welterweight Mauricio Alonso. That bout takes the main-card slot initially reserved for lightweights Adam Piccolotti and Brent Primus; Piccolotti was forced out of the event with an undisclosed injury.
Officials also added a middleweight bout between Francisco France vs. Anatoly Tokov to Bellator 172’s prelims.
Bellator 172 takes place Feb. 18 at SAP Center in San Jose, Calif. The main card airs on Spike following prelims on MMAjunkie.
All in all, Colleen Schneider happy just to compete at Bellator 170
A lesser person than Colleen Schneider might get mad about being placed on the opening bout of the preliminary card at Bellator 170.
There are, after all, 19 fighters who don’t even have Wikipedia pages on the prelim card at the Forum in Inglewood, Calif. on Saturday night. But Schneider, who has 17 pro matchups under the belt, finds herself working in the curtain-jerker fight.
Schneider, who brings a 4-1 record in her past five fights into her Bellator debut, is taking the high road on something other veterans might consider a slight.
Melvin Guillard vs. Chidi Njokuani catchweight bout headlines Bellator 171
A 175-pound catchweight matchup between 14-year veteran Melvin Guillard and fellow knockout artist Chidi Njokuani has been booked as the headlining bout of Bellator 171.
The event takes place Jan. 27 at Kansas Star Arena in Mulvane, Kansas. As with all Bellator events, the night’s main card airs on Spike following prelims on MMAjunkie, though the night’s official bout order has yet to be revealed.
Tito Ortiz on why he’s retiring: ‘My biggest enemy has been my body’
This isn’t the first time Tito Ortiz has announced his retirement. The former UFC light heavyweight champion called it a career after a 2012 loss to Forrest Griffin and was inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame.
Then came an improbable run with Bellator, one in which he drew a game-changing television rating for a fight with Stephan Bonnar on Nov. 2014 which helped usher in the current era of MMA free agency.
But while the inevitable can be postponed, time catches up with everyone eventually. Ortiz’s Bellator 170 main event against Chael Sonnen comes two days before his 42nd birthday, and “The Huntington Beach Bad Boy” affirmed that win, lose, or draw, he intends for the bout to be the last of his MMA career.
Sinead Kavanagh vs. Elina Kallionidou added to Bellator 169
A women’s featherweight bout pitting Sinead Kavanagh and Elina Kallionidou is the latest addition to Bellator 169. The news was announced by the promotion on Monday.
Kavanagh was originally scheduled to compete in a bantamweight fight against Eeva Siiskonen on the BAMMA portion of this co-promoted event, but will now be moving up a weight class to face Kallionidou under the Bellator banner. Kavanagh trains out of SGB Ireland and is 3-0 as a professional MMA fighter.