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Tag: Bellator 106

Bellator Faces a Pivotal Crossroad Heading Into the Next Season


(The high point for Bellator. Photo via Tracy Lee/CombatLifestyle.com)

By Matt Saccaro

The ninth season of Bellator demonstrated what the Viacom-owned promotion is capable of when it’s given a platform on a stable, popular network—but can what season nine showed us elevate Bellator to the top while simultaneously revitalizing the stagnating MMA market in the United States?

It’s tough to tell, though we can glean a semblance of an answer when we look at an event that was simultaneously the high point and low point for Bellator during its ninth season: Bellator 106, the PPV that wasn’t. The card encapsulated everything that was right and wrong with Bellator.

What was wrong:

-Focusing on well-past-their-prime talent—Rampage Jackson and Tito Ortiz—and the “these guys used to be in the UFC” marketing line in order to sell a PPV. The cancellation of the PPV because Ortiz suffered yet another injury.

-The conclusion of the knock-off Ultimate Fighter, “Fight Master,” being won by Joe Riggs, another peaked-in-the-mid-2000s, ex-UFC fighter.

-The dubious interim title fight between King Mo and Emanuel Newton that defied the “title shots are earned and not given” mantra that made Bellator special.

What was right:

-Bellator’s homegrown talent like Michael Chandler, Daniel Straus, and Pat Curran being proudly put on display for the MMA world to see.

-Michael Chandler vs. Eddie Alvarez was one of the best fights of the year.

-The card being free on Spike TV meant it was the most-viewed in the promotion’s history with 1.1 million viewers.

These takeaways from Bellator 106 can be applied to the promotion’s efforts as a whole.

Bellator’s reliance on ex-UFC fighters in concerning. Rampage drew the second-highest ratings in Bellator history with 793,000 viewers in his fight against Joey Beltran, but banking on older, expensive fighters isn’t sustainable. At 35 years old, Rampage has a limited time left in the sport. The same goes for 38-year-old Tito Ortiz, who hasn’t even fought for Bellator yet since he can’t stay healthy. Placing the weight of a promotion’s future on surgically reconstructed knees and necks is a terrible idea.

Bellator apologists might argue that Rampage and Tito were brought in to garner the casual fan’s attention and in doing so promote the lesser-known, Bellator-made fighters…

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‘Chandler vs. Alvarez 2′ Pulls 1.1 Million Viewers For Largest Audience in Bellator History


(The shot of the year, from a different angle. Photo via Facebook.com/mstracylee)

It’s official: Bellator’s canceled pay-per-view was the greatest thing that ever happened to the promotion. (Called it!) According to a press release distributed today by Spike TV, Bellator 106: Chandler vs. Alvarez 2 delivered 1.1 million average viewers during the Spike telecast, which made it the most-watched event in Bellator history and the most watched mixed martial arts show on television this fall. As the release goes on to explain:

The “Chandler-Alvarez II” fight card peaked at 1.4 million viewers at 11:17pm and reached its high mark with Men 18-49 with a 1.1 rating for the Alvarez-Chandler bout. The telecast also ranked #2 in cable in its timeslot with Men 18-49.

For fans who missed the fight, or who recorded it but the end was cut off due to the extraordinary length of the event, Spike TV will replay the Chandler-Alvarez II main event bout on Friday, November 8 at 8:00pm ET/PT. The replay will lead into a live Bellator event featuring heavyweights Cheick Kongo vs. Peter Graham and a co-feature with lightweight contenders Joe Warren and Travis Marx.

Note to Bellator: Don’t brag about the “extraordinary length” of your event. That shit was nearly four hours long, and people almost died out here. (It’s worth noting that the audience peaked well before the main event had even begun.) On the plus side, it must feel amazing for Bellator to clown the UFC with that “most watched mixed martial arts show on television this fall” line, especially at a time when the UFC is probably kind of sensitive about that sort of thing.

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Post-Bellator 106 News Roundup: Bjorn Rebney Plans Another PPV, Alvarez Tweets Picture of F*cked Up Eye, and More


(The purple hue really brings out the chestnut color of Alvarez’s eyebrows. / via twitter)

The best Sundays are post-event Sundays. There’s tons of great articles to read about the valiant, violent displays of physical fortitude that occurred the night before.

Usually, there’s not enough interest in a Bellator card to warrant a slew of interesting sound bites and pictures. But Bellator 106 was different. Bellator 106 was the canceled PPV that became one of the most important free, non-UFC televised cards in MMA history. Let’s look at some of the fallout, the crucial and the just plain cool.

Dana White, predictably, had nothing positive to say about Bellator 106 (but that’s not just because he’s a jerk; the show really wasn’t that great). Bjorn Rebney responded to Dana’s comments about karmic justice like a shady Winnebago salesman, saying “If karma is that we just put on the best mixed martial arts fight I’ve ever seen, that’s karma I’ll take big boatloads of.”

Rebney had some other important statements. He pessimistically dismissed the future of Bellator’s “Ultimate Fighter” knockoff “Fight Master.” Typical of post-Viacom buyout Bellator, Rebney didn’t do this without taking a shot at the UFC.

“Reality fight TV is having its difficulties now. You can see it in the UFC’s ratings, they’re having the lowerst-rated TUF they’ve had in the history of the show,” he said (he was right, by the way).

Read about Bellator’s next PPV, King Mo’s surprising salary, and more after the jump.

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Bellator 106 Recap: Alvarez Edges Chandler, Newton Picks Apart King Mo, Riggs Becomes The “Fight Master”


(Photo via Tracy Lee/CombatLifestyle.com)

Bellator should be thankful that this card never made it to PPV; the main event was incredible but paying $45 for the rest of the card would’ve turned people off to Bellator for life.

The night started off promising. Mike “The Marine” Richman met Akop Stepanyan and won via TKO in the first round. The match was well fought and exciting.

The same couldn’t be said for the next fight on the card: Joe Riggs vs. Mike Bronzoulis. The two men fought for the honor of being Bellator’s first “Fight Master” winner, a title as dubious as being the first XFL champion. Riggs won a wrestling-heavy decision that sedated the crowd and likely had television audience flipping channels.

Pat Curran vs. Daniel Straus, the first of three title fights on the card, followed Riggs-Bronzoulis. This fight didn’t wow viewers either. There were a few spurts of action — as well as a point-deduction for an illegal knee that essentially KO’d Straus in the third round — but it was a generally lackluster affair that saw Straus take Curran’s featherweight title and in doing so avenge his 2009 loss to Curran.

But Straus wasn’t the only fighter looking to avenge a loss at Bellator 106. Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal sought victory over Emanuel Newton, who humiliated Lawal with a spinning backfist knockout back at Bellator 90. Lawal failed in this task.

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[EXCLUSIVE] Michael Chandler Doesn’t Mind Being Overlooked as Long as He’s Champion


(Photo via Bellator)

By Elias Cepeda

Throughout the UFC and Bellator’s highly-publicized bidding war over lightweight Eddie Alvarez, I couldn’t help but wonder what Michael Chandler felt about all this. There was Alvarez, hard sought-after and recognized as one of the best fighters not already in the UFC, and there was Chandler — the man who’d beaten him soundly in an incredible fight and took the Bellator title.

Chandler was the champion. Chandler had beaten Alvarez, yet his opponent was the one who had corporate giants fighting for him. I got a chance to speak with the Bellator lightweight champion as he heads into his rematch with Alvarez this Saturday at Bellator 106.

The 24-year-old fighter was philosophical as he looked back at being the overlooked champion. “Unfortunately it’s not a perfect world and fighters can’t just train and fight,” Chandler says of Alvarez’s legal battles.

“There’s all kinds of things that go around it. All that bickering…I try not to worry about all the outside stuff. People are going to say things and talk. You can read into things and they can affect you mentally. That’s no good for you at all. It’s never good to get caught up in all that. The reality and beauty of the situation is that we are professional athletes with a platform that people are going to hear and see. It’s good to be on a platform like that. It is something to keep me grounded and excited for November 2. I want to prove myself.”

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Watch Michael Chandler and Eddie Alvarez Watch Their First Fight on ‘Unfinished Business’

When Bellator lightweight champion Michael Chandler and former champ Eddie Alvarez face off for the second time this Saturday at Bellator 106, they will be carrying a tremendous weight of expectations on their backs. Chandler/Alvarez 1 wasn’t simply a great fight, or just another a Fight of the Year candidate — it remains the greatest bout in Bellator promotional history, by a fairly wide margin. It was a rare double-comeback fight, in which both fighters found themselves close to the brink of defeat, and both managed to storm back from the abyss. Since then, Alvarez has endured an emotionally and financially harrowing legal battle just to get to the point where he could even compete again. His rematch with Chandler can’t just be a “fun fight.” Anything short of another instant classic would be a disappointment.

To help promote the upcoming battle, Spike TV released a half-hour documentary special called “Unfinished Business” that recaps the four-round war from Bellator 58, adding commentary from Chandler and Alvarez themselves, who talk us through the most pivotal moments. Plus, the fighters’ training partners and coaches weigh-in, along with appearances from a couple of UFC fighters who have likely been chewed out by Dana White for daring to appear in a “Viacom MMA” presentation. Anyway, the show is a must-watch for Bellator fans, especially if you somehow missed Mike and Eddie’s first fight two years ago. Enjoy.

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Karo Parisyan Becomes the Latest UFC Vet to Drop Off the Cursed Bellator 106 Card


(“Say kid, have I ever told you about the time I made Steven Seagal shit his pants? I have? Dozens of times? Well let me tell you again…” / Photo via CombatLifestyle.com)

First, Tito Ortiz‘s neck injury tanked the pay-per-view, pulling Rampage Jackson off the card with him. Then, Vinny Spartan blew his knee out, dragging Cheick Kongo out as well. And now, a fifth UFC washout has dropped off this Saturday’s Bellator 106: Chandler vs. Alvarez 2 card in Long Beach. (Update: I forgot about Terry Etim. That would make it six.)

Due to an undisclosed injury, welterweight Karo Parisyan has withdrawn from his scheduled match against Cristiano Souza. Parisyan, who has had a long history of back injuries (and self-medication, and questionable fight-withdrawals) was unsuccessful in his Bellator debut back in April, suffering a second-round knockout loss to fellow judoka Rick Hawn. Souza will remain on Saturday’s card against Alejandro Garcia, a natural featherweight (!?) who was a part of the Fight Master cast.

The current 10-fight lineup for Bellator 106 is below. Beware, Joe Riggs — the UFC washout injury curse is coming for you next…

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[EXCLUSIVE] Bellator Champ Pat Curran Is Making the Most of His Short Window of Opportunity


(“The goal was to make a good living doing this and I’m already there. I want to see how far I can take it.” Photo via Esther Lin/MMAFighting)

By Elias Cepeda

Of late, much of the big news that comes from Bellator has to do with contract clauses and disputes, lawsuits and high-profile cancellations. Because of that, one can imagine it being difficult for a marquee Bellator fighter like Pat Curran to focus on simply doing his job well.

However, the featherweight champion insists that he doesn’t keep up on other people’s news and stays focused on what matters — fighting. “I don’t like to think about it too much,” he tells CagePotato.

“As a fighter I have a very short career window and I have to make the most of where I’m at right now. I’m on a main stage with a major organization that gives me the opportunity to stay busy and make a pretty decent living.”

Having a tough opponent in front of you can help a fighter keep focused as well and Curran has exactly that this Saturday at Bellator 106 when he defends his belt against Bellator Season 6 tournament winner Daniel Straus.

“He’s very talented and very well rounded,” Curran says of the challenger.

“He throws a lot of straight, long punches and follows up with kicks. He does a very good job mixing up striking with wrestling. He’s good at clinching with guys and wearing them out. I’m definitely not just expecting a striking fight like I had with ‘Pitbull’ [Patricio Freire]. I’m prepared for anything. If it becomes a striking match, I’m ready for it. If it goes to the ground, I’m ready to mix it up.”

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Injury Report: ‘Uncle Creepy’ Off of UFC on FOX 9, ‘Spartan’ Pulls Out of Bellator Heavyweight Tournament Final With Cheick Kongo [UPDATED]


(“Serves you right, you bastard.” — The local homeless drug-addict community. / Photo via MMAJunkie)

A potential flyweight slobber-knocker between Ian “Uncle Creepy” McCall and Scott Jorgensen has been taken off of the loaded UFC on FOX 9 card (December 14th, Sacramento). As MMAJunkie reports, McCall has been forced to pull out with an undisclosed injury.

After going 0-2-1 in his first three UFC appearances, McCall won his do-or-die fight against Iliarde Santos at UFC 163, and was looking to make it two in a row against Jorgensen, a former bantamweight contender who was scheduled to make his 125-pound debut. The UFC is currently looking for a replacement opponent for Jorgensen, who was most recently choked out by Urijah Faber at the TUF 17 Finale. Anyway, tough break for Creepy. We’ll update you when we know more.

UPDATE: Jorgensen will remain on the UFC on FOX 9 card, as former flyweight title challenger John Dodson has agreed to step up in McCall’s place. Dodson is fresh off his first round knockout of Darrell Montague at UFC 166.

In other injury news, Bellator 106 has taken another step towards “cursed card” status…

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Hot Potato: 12 Photos of Courtney Prather, Bellator’s New Ring Girl


(Photo via Iron Man Magazine)

After winning a ring-girl search put on by the fine gentlemen at TheChive, BSN-sponsored fitness competitor Courtney Prather has earned a spot as Bellator’s next ring girl, and will make her debut at Bellator 106: Rampage vs. Tito on November 2nd. The Southern California native is also a certified personal trainer and fitness educator who shares her knowledge on her lifestyle site fitnesslifeadventure.com. I’m going to take a wild guess and say she consumes less pizza than Jade Bryce.

Check out some great Courtney Prather photos in our gallery after the jump, learn more about her in the BSN profile video below, and follow her life on Twitter and Facebook.

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