Randy Couture, Frank Shamrock, Greg Jackson and Joe Warren. Pic by SHERDOG.COM -click for source- Credit: Dave Mandel

The Fight Master Finale finally took place at Bellator 106 as we saw favorite Joe Riggs grind Mike Bronzoulis into a three round decision to win the inaugural season. Because of the uniqueness of Fight Master, I thought I’d go over what the show did right, wrong, and just different.

Fighter’s Choice and Coaching

There’s no point in pretending I won’t be comparing Fight Master to The Ultimate Fighter since the former was meant to compete with the latter reality show. In order to differentiate itself from The Ultimate Fighter, Fight Master gave fighters the choice to choose their own match ups instead of their coaches.

This essentially gave the fighters the choice to choose their own destiny and if the choosing fighter lost they’d have no one to blame but themselves. Because the fighters could choose their own destiny the coaches had to essentially convince the fighters to join their team by offering their unique coaching skills. Also there were four coaches instead of the usual two, and because the coaches were either retired (Randy Couture and Frank Shamrock), a coach by trade (Greg Jackson), or just small (Joe Warren), none of the coaches were pitted to fight each other at the end of the show.

Housing and Training Facilities

The Ultimate Fighter has always housed the fighters in a house where they all lived together. Fight Master on the other hand housed the fighters in the same warehouse they trained and fought in, probably for budgetary reasons. This never gave the fighters a chance to fully unwind after their fights and never gave them the benefits of a house.

To the producers credit however, they did provide each team their own training facilities to train in. That was something that The Ultimate Fighter has fallen short as both teams have always had to share the UFC training center.

Pace, Prize, and Finale

Both The Ultimate Fighter and Fight Master had about the same number of fights to get through in their seasons. Apparently two episodes makes a difference because Fight Master always felt accelerated when they put forth two fights per episode, whereas whenever possible The Ultimate Fighter always tries to show one fight per episode so that the fighters can be properly introduced to the audience.

Also the prize was nowhere near as prestigious in Fight Master as The Ultimate Fighter offers a six figure contract whereas Fight Master does offer a six figure payday but only guarantees a berth in the upcoming Bellator season’s tournament. Then there’s the issue of the finale. Unlike The Ultimate Fighter where there’s a specific event to showcase the shows finale, Bellator put the Fight Master finale on a regular Bellator fight card.


Fight Master was definitely different from The Ultimate Fighter. The show does have some honest potential if some of the inaugural season’s kinks can be ironed out. While there is no official word on whether there will be another season, it should be done over again with corrections.

What did you think of the inaugural season of Fight Master: Bellator MMA? Leave a comment!