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Aaron Chalmers promises to deliver U.K., Irish TV deal before Bellator Newcastle

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MMA: Bellator 200 Steve Flynn-USA TODAY Sports

A valuable commodity in the television world before transitioning to mixed martial arts, Aaron Chalmers has promised to help deliver a U.K. and Irish television deal ahead of his Bellator Newcastle showdown with Corey Browning on Feb. 9.

The fight card for the Newcastle event was released Monday, and based on his history of helping his previous organization, BAMMA, over the the line with a broadcast deal, “The Joker” is confident the same can be done for Bellator.

Chalmers’ celebrity from his days as a cast member of Geordie Shore brought a whole new television audience to the U.K. sport when BAMMA secured a deal with ITV 4 ahead of his third professional fight. He claims that 80 MTV channels broadcasted his Bellator debut and he is intent on bringing the same viewership to his sophomore outing for the promotion.

“My last Bellator fight, it was shown on something crazy like 80 MTV channels around the world,” Chalmers told Eurobash.

“Tell me another fighter who’s had three fights that can be put across on not only Channel 5, but also by 80 MTV channels across the world? You can’t. I don’t care what anyone says, no other fighter can do that, it’s as simple as that. Because I was on an MTV show, MTV backed me to the hilt and they will be showing all of my fights.

“It’s a massive audience. The fans that will be in Newcastle for the fight, maybe 80 percent of them will be diehard MMA fans, but the other 20 percent might be Geordie Shore fans, but they’re still in the stadium and they’re still supporting, so what difference does it make? To be an MMA fan you have to go to your first MMA fight; you’re not an MMA fan when you’re born, you’ve got to build up to being a fan after you start watching. What’s to say Geordie Shore fans can’t be MMA fans, because that’s what I feel happens.”

For his recent fight announcement, Chalmers poked fun at Bellator’s infamous Peppa Pig faux pas that saw the adored children’s cartoon beamed around the U.K. and Ireland instead of Gegard Mousasi’s title defense against Rory MacDonald.

While the U.S. promotion has failed to gain a regular live slot in Britain and Ireland, Chalmers thinks everything will be sorted in time for the beginning of the promotion’s European series, which kicks off in Newcastle.

“I’m going to be honest, yes,” replied Chalmers when asked if he was the man that would help Bellator harness a TV deal in the U.K. and Ireland.

“Look at what I did for BAMMA; within my [third] fight we had that ITV 4 deal. I was being criticized before the last Newcastle show and I said, ‘What am I doing wrong? I’m bringing a show to Newcastle,’ because BAMMA weren’t going to go there, ‘and I’m bringing the TV deal’. What comes with that is sponsors will start sponsoring the fighters. A lot of people were like, ‘You’re actually right, you’re bringing a lot of things [to the table] for fighters’.

“Last year, fighters were getting more sponsors because of the TV deal, so some people will see the good things and some people will see the bad.”

A household name in the U.K. and Ireland, Chalmers also discussed the importance of a television deal in terms of building fighters’ brands.

“It’s business; it’s not just about being a fighter anymore, you’re a brand. You’ve got to put yourself across, that’s how you make money. Look at the promotion we thought up the other week, me and K [manager] sat down and we thought that up; I thought of the joke and he mixed the Peppa Pig thing in with it. It’s little things like that, you’ve got promote yourself in the right way. This is the way I look at it now: you can be the best fighter in the world, but if you’re not promoting yourself properly, you’re not getting the opportunities that you should be,” he explained.

“I’m getting opportunities that maybe I shouldn’t be because I’m promoting myself in the right way.”

Check out the latest episode of Eurobash. The Aaron Chalmers interview begins at 11:45.

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