Now that's a workout: Former UFC star looks to turn failing gyms around on TV

Associated Press

TORONTO - Chefs Gordon Ramsay and Robert Irvine have scored TV successes by focusing on failing restaurants. Now UFC Hall of Famer Randy (The Natural) Couture hopes to do the same with failing gyms.

Spike TV and Couture are collaborating on a series called "MMA Rescue" that will see the former UFC light-heavyweight and heavyweight title-holder use his smarts "to help take a failing gym on the ropes and turn it into a champion," according to the network.

Spike plans three one-hour episodes, with the opportunity to extend the series.

Couture, who owns his own Xtreme Couture chain of gyms, will also serve as executive producer.

Couture will also be part of Spike's "Fight Master: Bellator MMA," a reality TV series that will also feature MMA coach Greg Jackson, former champion Frank Shamrock and fighter Joe Warren.

The four will run separate fight camps for 32 up-and-coming fighters looking to fight their way into the Bellator tournament and a US$100,000 cash prize.

The series will include 10 one-hour episodes.

The shows are part of a "multi-year creative partnership" between Couture and Spike.

"We are thrilled to partner with such an emerging star in entertainment and an absolute icon in the sport of mixed martial arts," Sharon Levy, Spike TV's executive vice-president in charge of original series, said in a statement.

Spike has paired up with the Bellator promotion since UFC moved to Fox.

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