I am kind of amazed that Spike TV is trying to use Randy Couture once again to promote MMA on the channel. I know that Bellator doesn’t have any stars of its own nearly as big as Couture, but how exactly are some reality show appearances and commercials going to make a big difference for Spike and Bellator? I understand Couture getting the post-retirement payday, but I fail to see the payoff. "MMA Rescue" sounds like one of the worst ideas I’ve ever heard of on television. -- Eric from Augusta
Chris Nelson, associate editor: Frankly, Eric, I’m slightly amazed by your amazement. Sure, Couture’s name doesn’t carry the same sort of weight in MMA circles that it did five years ago; that doesn’t change the fact that he’s still one of the most recognizable faces of the sport to North American audiences. Even people who don’t know him as a former UFC champion or one of “The Expendables” have probably at least been verbally berated by him in one of those weird Body by Jake commercials where he calls you “princess.”
Couture isn’t a superstar, but he’s a recognizable face, and one that’s inextricably associated with the UFC. That’s all Spike needs on a 15-second commercial spot to catch the eyes of viewers who may have noticed a distinct lack of Octagonal programming on their airwaves recently.
As for the reality show, maybe I’m the exact kind of sucker “Fight Master” is trying to lure in, but Couture and the rest of the coaching panel revealed this week actually has me interested and somewhat excited to see how it turns out. I’m not the only one: an unscientific polling of several MMA friends tells me that at least some fight fiends are more curious about this experiment than the past few seasons of “The Ultimate Fighter,” all while acknowledging that Bellator’s show will have lesser talent. In short, while I don’t think Spike’s attention-grab will pay off like it hopes, I also don’t think it’s as ridiculous an idea as you do.
Lastly, as a connoisseur of reality television -- no, that’s too lofty -- as a dummy who watches a lot of reality TV, let me tell you that “MMA Rescue” is not one of the worst ideas I’ve ever heard of on television. It might not even be in the top 10.
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