“Bellator is going to takeover, just wait”. This is a quote I’ve been hearing from many of the MMA brains that I speak to regularly. The first and most common reason is because of the sponsorship deal in place. The second and more surprising reason is because the product is better. As my loyal readers that attended Bellator’s funeral last week know Bellator is dead to me. But, exploring this a little further, are my very intelligent friends right? Is Bellator ready to take over the MMA universe? Here are my top 5 reasons why I think this isn’t as stupid as it sounds (even though Bellator committed suicide last week).
1. Obviously the UFC Reebok deal was something that most, if not all fighters disagree with. This was the primary way fighters made their income. Their fight salaries and bonuses usually didn’t compare to their sponsorship deals. Bellator allows fighters to secure any sponsorships they need, which is a huge incentive. That along with Dana White being a greedy, power hungry jerk makes it reasonable to think fighters will go to Bellator and the much more intelligent Scott Coker.
2. Bellator has “real” fights. This is hard for me to wrap my head around, but people seem to think Bellator gives the rightful number 1 contender the shot at a title. While Bellator NYC PPV proved otherwise, Bellator for the most part awards their most successful fighters with championship fights. This will be solidified once tournament style is brought back, and we can see with UFC transfers that they are normally given a title shot right away which is another incentive for them to come over.
3. Dana White sucks. Agreed, Dana is a peckerhead. But, he obviously is very good at what he does. Rarely do his insults and threats come back to bite him. With that said, there are some fighters that leave because of Dana’s unwillingness to negotiate with them or because they feel like the money and power that is held by the UFC brass isn’t fairly distributed.
4. The UFC is expensive. Welp, Coker fucked this argument up. Bellator being free was a huge selling point (that’s some type of riddle?). Coker being greedy fucked that up. The UFC has tons of free cards, but it’s best cards are PPV. We know that sometimes fights don’t live up to their expectations. Put those two things together and fans paying $59.99 for a UFC PPV could be a thing of the past.
5. Young talent isn’t just going to the UFC. We know from recent signings that Bellator is now signing young talent before they are scooped up by the UFC or signing prime talent after their first contract expires with the UFC. If the young talent develops and Bellator gets a few UFC fighters in their prime to sign with them, they will begin to shift the power in MMA.
So, I’m going to archive this article and look back at it in 3 years. Lots will change from now to then and Bellator being atop of the MMA mountain could be one of them.