Tonight Spike / Bellator / Viacom (“SBV” for future reference) debuts its much anticipated new reality fight show called, “Fight Master

SBV’s new show is similar to TUF, yet not at the same time.

Like TUF, the show starts out with a cast of 32 which are quickly whittled down to 16. Also like TUF it is a round-robin format and yes, they live and train together in the same facility. However, that’s where the similarities come to an end.

Unlike TUF, fighters choose their coaches.

Also and unlike TUF, there are 4 coaches (and staffs) not 2.

The coaches that the competitors may choose from are an interesting and talented crew. From the four options available, a fighter may pick one of the following: Randy Couture, Greg Jackson, Frank Shamrock or Joe Warren.

At the end of each bout the victor is brought before the panel of 4 and he asks each a question regarding training and then selects a coach.

As there are 16 competitors and only 4 coaches, each team can be comprised of only 4 fighters. When a coach has been selected by 4 of the 16 combatants, the team is “closed” and the remaining fighters who have yet to select a coach, may (then) only select from the remaining “open” teams. On this value, Fight Master is more “The Voice” than TUF.

Another significant difference between FM and TUF will be the focus of the show, itself. Where TUF places heavy emphasis on the goings-on in the house, Fight Master looks to focus on the training and the techniques taught in the gym and not any antics in the house.

Resultantly, it seems to be a show that’s been geared more toward the discerning harder-core MMA fan, than the casual one.

The shows payout for the eventual winner is 100K, a spot in the Bellator tournament and the Fight Master title.

All-in-all and from what I saw of the show’s promo material, it looks to be a better show than TUF; even in terms of its production values.

Here’s hoping that SBV has success with the show and that they continue to stoke the fire in the MMA wars.

Don’t forget, it’s 10 p.m. ET on Spike.