<div class="Article" style="float: left;"> <table> <tr style="vertical-align: bottom;"> <td> <h3><a href="/go=news.detail&gid=450150" target="_blank"> Spike pres: Bellator on 'even footing' with UFC </a></h3> </td> </tr> </table> <a href="/go=news.detail&gid=450150" ><img class="photo" src="http://img.mixedmartialarts.com/method=get&rs=70&q=75&x=2&y=74&w=310&h=165&ro=0&s=kevin-kay-02-09-2015-11-38-23-909.jpg" /></a> <div style="clear: both; line-height: 1px;height: 1px;"> </div> </div> <p>If you like fighting, you understand that competition is great. If there was no Joe Frazier there would be no Muhammad Ali as we know him. Greatness comes from competition, not domination.</p>
The UFC currently faces four separate class-action law suits, charging that it holds a monopoly position, in elite mixed martial arts, in North America. The suit charges that all rivals are minor league, and mentions Bellator by name.
"Bellator athletes lack significant public notoriety, in part because it is a ‘minor league,'" reads the filing. "Bellator's bout purses, gate revenues, attendance figures, merchandise sales, television licensing fees and ad rates are minimal compared to those obtained by the UFC."
In an ironic twist, Spike TV president Kevin Kay has come to the UFC's defense.
Kay offered facts in support of the position. Bellator 132 on Jan 16 peaked at 1,100,000 viewers, higher than many UFC events on FOX Sports 1. The previous Bellator event averaged 1,200,000 viewers and peaked at 2,000,000 during the main event, making Ortiz vs. Bonnar the most watched MMA fight on cable this year. And Bellator 131 went head to head with a UFC PPV.
"We're right on an even footing [with the UFC], I believe," said Kay. "We're certainly not the minor leagues. Obviously, they are the market leaders right now, but I think Bellator is stepping up in a big way."
"I think that (Bellator 131) really showed off what the potential was," Kay said. "Tito and Stephan, whether you like them or not, they did a great job promoting that fight."
Kay was asked directly if Bellator could become bigger than the UFC in the next five to ten years.
"I would like to," he said.
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