Bellator MMA Returns to ESPN Deportes
Exclusive multiyear, multiplatform rights agreement kicks off Sept. 19 with Bellator MMA: Dynamite 1 featuring Mexican-American MMA Hall of Famer Tito Ortiz (18-11) against the undefeated Bellator Light Heavyweight World Champion, Liam McGeary (10-0) for the title.
ESPN Deportes will be the exclusive Spanish-language home of Bellator MMA in the United States. Having been the first network to carry the series in 2009, the network announced today the multiyear, multiplatform agreement with six action-packed events slated for the remainder of the calendar year.
The series kicks off on September 19, 2015 at 9 p.m. ET on ESPN Deportes with “Dynamite 1,” featuring Mexican-American superstar fighter Tito Ortiz against the undefeated titleholder Liam McGeary for the Light Heavyweight Championship as the main event. The card will also showcase a one-night, four-man tournament to determine the no. 1 contender in the light heavyweight division between Phil Davis, Emanuel Newton, Linton Vassel and Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal. In addition, for the first time in history, this event will feature a Bellator MMA cage as well as a Glory Kickboxing ring for the added attraction of three major kickboxing matches.
ESPN will be streaming preliminary matches in Spanish starting at 7 p.m. on ESPN3 and ESPNDeportes+. As part of the deal, archival fights will also be made available to ESPN Deportes.
“ESPN Deportes has a long history of carrying premier sporting events, relevant to our Hispanic sports fans,” said Lino Garcia, general manager of ESPN Deportes. “We recognized the changes and growth of Bellator over the past year and, we are thrilled to see the world-class mixed martial arts organization return to its original television home.”
Bellator President Scott Coker: “We are thrilled to deepen our connection with our growing Hispanic audience with this strategic partnership with ESPN Deportes.”
ESPN Deportes’ complete coverage will be led by seasoned Bellator announcers George X – who returns to the network having previously served as a commentator in the X Games – and Manny Rodríguez who will be calling all the action available across ESPN Deportes TV, ESPN Deportes+ and WatchESPN.
Hall of Famer Tito Ortiz will be appearing live on tonight’s episode of A Los Golpes at 6 p.m. ET to discuss his world title fight and the new ESPN deal.
Under the direction of veteran fight promoter Scott Coker, Bellator MMA is a leading Mixed Martial Arts organization, featuring many of the best fighters in the world. The 2015 line-up will feature several “tent pole’ events, which include renowned fighters such as Patricio “Pitbull” Freire, Daniel Straus, Will Brooks, Marcin Held, Michael Chandler, Bobby Lashley, Michael “Venom” Page, Josh Koscheck, Fernando Gonzalez, Henry Corrales and Brennan Ward, among others.
September 19 – San Jose, CA (Tent Pole)
Bellator Light Heavyweight Title Fight: Tito Ortiz (18-11) vs. © Liam McGeary (10-0)
Bellator Light Heavyweight Tournament Final: Winner of Davis/Newton vs. winner of Vassel-Lawal
Glory Vacant Light Heavyweight Title Fight: Saulo Cavalari (31-2) vs. Zack Mwekassa (13-2)
Bellator Lightweight Feature Fight: Josh Thomson (20-8) vs. Mike Bronzoulis (18-8-1)
Glory Welterweight Feature Fight: Paul Daley (37-13-2 MMA/20-3 Kickboxing) vs. Fernando Gonzalez (24-13/1-2 Kickboxing)
Glory Bantamweight Feature Fight: Kerri-Anne Taylor Melendez (2-1) vs. Hadley Griffith (Debut)
Bellator Light Heavyweight Tournament Fight: Phil Davis (13-3) vs. Emanuel Newton (25-8-1)
Bellator Light Heavyweight Tournament Fight: Linton Vassell (15-4-1) vs. Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal (15-4, 1 NC)
September 25 – Hidalgo, TX
Bantamweight Fight: Joe Warren vs L.C. Davis
(Co-feature includes Mexican-American Joey “The Mexecutioner” Beltran)
October 23 – Mohegan Sun Casino, CT
Bantamweight World Title: Marcos Galvão vs Eduardo Dantas II
Vacant Middleweight World Title: Brandon Halsey vs Rafael Carvalho
(Welterweight stars Michael “Venom” Page and Brennan Ward also to appear)
November 6 – St. Louis, MO (Tent Pole)
Featherweight World Title: Patricio “Pitbull” Freire vs Daniel Straus
Lightweight World Title: Will Brooks vs Marcin Held
(Lightweight Michael Chandler and former WWE star Bobby Lashley to appear)
November 20 – Winstar Casino, OK
Middleweight Fight: Hisaki Kato vs Melvin Manhoef
December 11 – Fresno, CA