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Tag: Bellator 121

The UFC Can Learn a Lesson From Bellator: How to Promote Bad Fights


(Photo via Getty)

By Matt Saccaro

The UFC said “Hey, did you hear there’s UFC FIGHTS™ on tonight? The finest athletes in the world are facing off and it’ll be action packed. Watch it!”

So we took their word for it, and watched. The athletes faced off, but they weren’t the finest in the world, and it wasn’t action packed. The athletes were green, regional-caliber competitors and there was more labored breathing and bouts of stalling than action.

Then the next event came. “It’s FIGHT WEEEEEEK! UFC FIGHTS™ are on again. The finest athletes in the world are doing battle in the Octagon™. Be sure to watch!”

We were skeptical, but being loyal MMA fans, we watched again. We were let down again. We voiced our concerns, only to be told we weren’t Real Fans if we didn’t appreciate the fights the UFC gave us. Not wanting to lose our MMA streed cred, we watched the next event that promised the top 1% of fighters battling in the Superbowl of MMA only to be disappointed.

This is what being an MMA fan has been like for the past year or two–especially since the UFC went full “World Fucking Domination” on us.

Fight cards are tougher to sit through because the talent levels are lower. Sometimes there’s two of these regional-level, star-sparse cards on the same day! And I’m not ragging on UFC Fight Night 42 specifically; on paper the card was pretty decent for a free Fight Night Card. I’m referring to the general lowering of the bar in terms of card quality that’s become undeniable as of late. The most insulting part is all these events are, for the most part, marketed the same way: Here’s awesome UFC Fights. They’ll be good. Watch them or you’re not an MMA fan.

And judging by the decline in interest (and PPV buys), lots of viewers decided they weren’t fans. And I’m not going to go on for much longer because I’ve written about the issue of over-saturation extensively on CagePotato, but the UFC can learn an important lesson from Bellator regarding how it promotes less-than-stellar fights: Be honest.

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Bellator 121 Results: Sokoudjou and James Thompson Emerge Victorious, Thompson Gives Rambling, Incoherent Promo About Testicles


(Oh yeah, and this happened. / via Zombie Prophet).

Bellator held it’s first extremely lackluster summer series fight card tonight with Bellator 121. We take a lot of heat for being negative, but this card warrants the hate. It was easily the worst card (on-paper) Bellator has put on in ages.

Let’s talk about the two fights you probably care about most: James Thompson vs. Eric Prindle and Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou vs. Professional Jobber Terry Davinney

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Watch a Bellator Cameraman Perv Out on a Female Fan [GIF]

We’ve seen lots of stuff in MMA. Some good. Some bad. Some disgusting.

This GIF is a combination of all three, perhaps. During the Bellator 121 prelims, a cameraman zoomed in on a woman’s upper torso in a way that made their not-so-honorable intentions clear. Check it out after the jump (and h/t to Zombie Prophet):

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Great Moments in Bad Promos: Bellator 121, THE SOLDIER vs. THE COLOSSUS!


(Props: BellatorMMA)

Bellator 121 goes down tonight in Thackerville, Oklahoma, featuring freak show veterans James Thompson and Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou, and a bunch of fights that don’t really matter. Promoting these fights as important from a competitive standpoint would be laughably inaccurate, and so, Bellator has gone the other way, releasing an over-the-top, tongue-in-cheek, Sharknado-quality video promo trying to drum up interest. Give it a look above, and you will see:

- An ironic usage of “O Fortuna,” which is always appropriate for moments like this.

- A list of “things that are awesome,” including “dynamite” and “hot chicks.”

- A celebration of the time that Eric Prindle got stomped in the crotch by Thiago Santos, then axe-kicked Thiago Santos in his crotch during their rematch. It is described as “poetic justice” by commentator Jimmy Smith.

- James Thompson going full WWE at 1:38-1:56. (“I’ve come hea’ to face Eric Prindle, Pringle, wotevva ‘is name is, it doosint matteh…”)

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Sokoudjou, James Thompson Added to Bellator 121 Main Card [PRIDE NEVA DIE]


(I love the serious, half-bored expressions on the Japanese fans’ faces, as if Giant Silva vs. James Thompson is something totally normal that happens all the time. / Photo via Sherdog)

If Bellator’s “Rampage vs. King Mo” pay-per-view proved one thing, it’s that the promotion could have a future as the world’s premiere home for high-profile freak show MMA. Sure, they’ll never be able to compete with the UFC in terms of talent, but who else is going to throw together open-weight fights featuring broken-down legends or allow furious losing fighters to grab the mic and insult high-ranking executives in profanity-filled tirades?

To put it another way — Bellator isn’t the best MMA league in the world, but it has the potential to be the craziest, and that makes it undeniably compelling. The promotion surely recognizes this, which could help explain the new signings of MMA freak-show veterans Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou and James Thompson. Both fighters have been added to the main card of Bellator 121, June 6th at the Winstar World Casino in Thackerville, Oklahoma (aka, the event that just lost its legitimate headliner).

Sokoudjou’s career highlights include knocking out Antonio Rogerio Nogueira in the #1 greatest betting-odds upset in MMA history, then putting together a disappointing 1-2 run in the UFC’s light-heavyweight division, then making it to the finals of DREAM’s 2009 Super Hulk Grand Prix, where he was knocked out by Ikuhisa Minowa, of all people. Sokoudjou has gone 7-6 since then, and has lost his two most recent fights by KO/TKO. He’ll be making his Bellator debut against Terry Davinney, a 10-6 journeyman from Grand Rapids, Michigan who scored a 15-second KO of Matt Van Buren in his sole Bellator appearance.

James Thompson, of course, is best known for the angry faces he was making before getting dummied up by Aleksander Emelianenko at PRIDE 28, smushing noses with Don Frye before beating him to death, suffering a questionable stoppage loss against Kimbo Slice, and an even more questionable decision loss against Mariusz Pudzianowski. He’s won his last three fights, most recently submitting Colin Robinson at something called Underdog Xtreme Championships 2 in Belfast back in March. At Bellator 121, he’ll be facing former heavyweight title contender Eric Prindle, who has suffered defeats in his last four Bellator appearances.

After the jump: Videos of Sokoudjou and Thompson beating the crap out of Bob Sapp.

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Today in Injuries: Pat Curran Withdraws From Bellator 121 Title Fight, Jake Shields Out of WSOF 11 Bout With Jon Fitch


(Just be real, Pat. You woke up and the belt was gone. It happens. / Photo via @PatCurranMMA)

Due to a severe right calf strain, Bellator featherweight champion Pat Curran will be unable to defend his title against top contender Patricio “Pitbull” Freire at Bellator 121, June 6th in Thackerville, Oklahoma. As Curran stated in a release yesterday:

I have my sights set on getting back into the cage as soon as possible, with July in mind, but I want to be 100 percent healthy heading into that cage to smash ‘Pitbull.’

Bellator has had a rotten stretch of luck lately with its champions staying healthy. Most notably, Eddie Alvarez had to pull out of the promotion’s first pay-per-view event due to a concussion — which led to Will Brooks winning an interim lightweight title that may or may not be worth the leather it’s printed on. Plus, Bellator bantamweight champion Eduardo Dantas suffered a head injury of his own in training last month, and was forced to withdraw from his scheduled May 2nd title defense against Joe Warren.

In other injury news…

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