The last time Brian Moore touched down on Hungarian soil he scored his first and only win under the Bellator banner.
After his second-round TKO of Michal Horejsi, he stood in the center of the Bellator cage and tried to gain a place on an upcoming Madison Square Garden card in his post-fight interview. His declaration only made it as far as the fans that were in attendance at the Budapest Sports Arena, as Bellator still haven’t secured a live television deal in the U.K. and Ireland.
The constant questions about how his following can watch his Bellator 196 fight live are wearing thin on “The Pikeman”, which is obvious when he gets queried on the situation once again.
“I don’t have a clue, that’s me being honest with you,” Moore told MMA Fighting.
“To be honest, I’ve buried my head in the sand for this fight and I’ve been training my ass for it. I don’t really care about how people are going to watch it. I signed up to fight and that’s all I’m worried about. Those are the only details that I need to know.”
Bellator 200 in London is rich with U.K. talent. In the last two months, the promotion announced the signing of highly touted BAMMA champions Mike Shipman and Ryan Scope who are scheduled to compete at the event. Controversial reality television star, Aaron Chalmers, is also set to debut on the card.
Moore believes that Bellator have done a lot of the legwork by signing the right talent and booking the right venues in the U.K. in Ireland, and all that’s missing is the TV deal to allow the region’s fans watch events as they happen.
“They have to make sure that [Bellator 200] is on TV in the UK and Ireland. As far as I’m concerned, Bellator have come in here and they’ve done great things for professionals in Ireland and the UK. Look at the all the investments they’ve made in terms of signing talent and booking premier arenas. I think the card is amazing. It’s a brilliant line-up so I’ll be shocked if there isn’t a TV deal in place by then,” he said.
Moore thinks Bellator put on cards that are every bit as strong as the UFC’s in Europe. For that reason, he thinks securing live broadcasts of Bellator events in the U.K. and Ireland is important in terms of competing with the UFC in the continent.
“I’m a fight fan. I watch anything that’s on and I know so many people would tune in to see Bellator. There are a lot of people interested in Bellator over here. To be honest, they have brought better cards to Europe than the UFC have. UFC Liverpool is the first European event that I’m really looking forward to in a long time,” Moore said.
“Bellator could probably steal the market in Europe. They’re snapping up all this talent in the UK and Ireland and people can’t wait to see them fight, but they need that TV deal in place in order for that to happen.”
Moore is fully focused on getting back in the win column following his Dublin loss to A.J. McKee. He stepped into the main event slot in Ireland after his teammate James Gallagher was forced from the card when he suffered a knee injury.
Despite receiving wide praise for his effort against the blue-chip prospect, he refuses to celebrate a loss. The SBG featherweight has doubled his training hours in the lead up to his meeting with Giorgio Belsanti at Budapest Sports Arena.
If all goes well in Budapest on Friday night, Moore said he would open to taking a fight at Bellator 200, but the speed at which the card is filling up doesn’t fill him with confidence.
“I don’t like focusing on anything that isn’t directly in front of me. Off the top of my head, it seems like a bit of a short turnaround, but I don’t want to be thinking about anything other than this fight — TV deals, when I’ll fight again after this — all I’m thinking about is my opponent,” he said.
“All I know is, that card is extremely full and everyone is still asking to get on it. I’m always walking around in shape. I’m never too far away from the featherweight limit, so I’ll be ready and sharp if I’m needed for that event.”
Note: For fans in the U.K. Ireland, Bellator 200 will be broadcast on tape delay on Spike UK on Saturday.