The UFC will be heading to Connecticut on September 5th. The card will air on FS1. Normally we wouldn’t cover such a banal, uninteresting announcement, but something makes it very special: September 5th also marks the date of Bellator’s season 11 debut, and it’s also being held in Connecticut to boot—a mere 10 miles away.
To say this is a big deal is an understatement. Perhaps Bellator’s rumored 100k PPV buys for Bellator 120 turned the UFC’s head, and now they view the promotion as a threat? And what about ratings? Will Bellator and SpikeTV be able to out-draw the UFC and FOX Sports 1?
It’s difficult to answer any of these questions at the current moment, especially since neither the UFC nor Bellator has announced a main event. The only fight announced for Bellator 123 is Brennan Ward vs. James Irvin, which isn’t super-appealing in all honesty.
It seems that the only way Bellator can hope to compete with the UFC is if they—forgive the use of this cliche—stack Bellator 123. They’ll have to put Rampage Jackson on the card, and perhaps even Tito Ortiz as well. But if Bellator puts its top draws on the card for free, it’ll cost quite a bit. The UFC is going head-to-head in order to force Bellator into a pace its roster can’t sustain, it would appear.
These are just musings, of course. We have very little information right now. We’ll be sure to update you when we get more.