Sunday, August 4, 2013

Why Oh Why Bellator?

Tito Ortiz is worse at retiring that Brett Favre.
Bellator MMA is an up and coming organization that looked to be on the way up going into the future.  Signing Rampage Jackson seemed like an exciting addition so he could eventually face King Mo, Emmanuel Newton, or Attila Vegh.  What Bellator will soon realize is that they made a huge error in making Rampage fight Ortiz on Pay-Per View.  Here is why Bellator messed up:

  1. Rampage vs Tito is a joke:  I liked the Rampage Jackson signing for Bellator.  However, having Rampage fight Tito is a mistake.  If Rampage were to win in Bellator it would give a rebirth to a star.  If Rampage were to lose it would legitimize Bellator as an MMA organization, because they would have fighters good enough to beat a former champ.  WSOF is now legitimate because Jon Fitch lost to their premier fighter Josh Burkman.  Having him fight Tito shows Bellator is not even half as good of an organization as the UFC.  This would barely make a UFC PPV broadcast, definitely not a headliner fight.
  2. Why do Pay-Per View?  One of the things that made Bellator appealing to me was the fact that it is on free TV.  I like that I can be a bum on a Wednesday night and watch two champions and King Mo fight from home on Spike.  The TV format is what makes Bellator appealing.  I am not willing to pay for a Bellator Pay-Per View, nor will I make a trip to a bar to see it.  Keep the free format going and be a network for the fans, and the fans will stay loyal.
  3. Tito vs Rampage does not effect the title picture: Bellator is essentially having a non-title, non-contender fight headline their inaugural PPV event.  The light heavyweight title picture is crowded since Vegh has to fight Newton and King Mo to defend his title.  The Rampage/Tito fight is not part of the tournament format, and neither fighter will jump King Mo for a title shot.  It is basically an exhibition match of two washed up UFC veterans.
  4. Random matchup: I do not understand why these two fighters and why now?  Rampage is 2-0 against Tito's nemesis Chuck Liddell and Tito is 0-2 against him.  You could argue that Tito submitted Bader and Rampage was outwrestled by him, but I think this is flat out a mismatch.  Coming in at 1-7-1, Ortiz needed to stay retired.  The only reason anyone would watch this is because people enjoy watching Tito lose.
  5. Friday nights are bad for MMA: The next season of Bellator is going to take place on Friday nights.  As the UFC learned with The Ultimate Fighter, the key demographic that they appeal to is busy on Friday nights going to bars and working weekends.  I think if Bellator stuck to Thursday nights they would see more success.
Who knows, maybe I am wrong.  But as a passionate MMA fan who is looking to give Bellator, WSOF, Invicta FC, and other organizations a shot to win me over, I disagree with this move.  Bellator needs to do its own thing and not use UFC veterans to build its brand.  Strikeforce was successful with home grown talent before it was purchased by Zuffa.  Bellator could go that route as well.  WSOF can sign UFC veterans because they are trying to make money alongside the UFC, whereas Bellator is trying to directly compete with Dana White and Zuffa.  It think they are going the wrong direction and I see WSOF becoming the 2nd largest MMA organization by next year.  Stick to what got you here and you will continue to strive, Bellator.

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