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Tag: Bellator PPV

What the Hell Do We Make of Bellator 120?


(Because Getty had no images from last night. / Photo via Getty)

By Matt Saccaro

Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney didn’t give out the gate numbers at the post-fight presser, even when asked (which probably means they were bad). And it’s still too early to know how Bellator 120 performed at the box office. So, financially, Bellator’s first PPV can’t definitively be called a success or a failure.

Regarding entertainment value, however, Bellator 120 was a success. There were some pacing issues, yes, but overall the card delivered.

In the first fight, Michael Page did his best Anderson Silva impression, knocking out Ricky Rainey (who’s name was hilariously spelled wrong at the post-fight presser) after taunting him mercilessly. In the next bout, former Bellator heavyweight champ Alexander Volkov scored an upset submission win over Blagoi Ivanov.

Then came Tito Ortiz vs. Alexander Shlemenko. Ortiz was the laughing stock of this card, without a doubt. He was a relic from a bygone era who hadn’t won a fight in three years. His ridiculous pre-fight promos (he promised to make Shlemenko “literally shit himself”) only made him look worse. Shlemenko, on the other hand, was Bellator’s middleweight champ and a stern Russian killer. He’d have no problem with Ortiz despite the considerable size difference, or so the world thought. But Ortiz won the fight. He submitted Shlemenko with an arm-triangle choke in the very first round. Then he gave the worst post-fight interview of all time; he pretended to be Hulk Hogan.

As crazy as Ortiz-Shlemenko was, it wasn’t the emotional high point of the PPV, nor was Michael Chandler vs. Will Brooks. Chandler-Brooks was not a particularly anticipated match. In fact, the entire Bellator PPV was centered around the rubber match between Chandler and Eddie Alvarez. When Alvarez withdrew due to a concussion, many thought it meant death for Bellator 120. Will Brooks was thrown in against Chandler, but it was a squash match—or at least that’s what conventional wisdom held. But Brooks upended fans and pundits, beating Chandler via split decision. He was made of sterner stuff than we all gave him credit for.

Then we had the main event, Rampage Jackson vs. King Mo. The fight itself was banal. Mo dominated Rampage with wrestling while Rampage landed a couple of decent shots throughout the fight. It seemed like a pretty easy decision win for King Mo, but the judges didn’t see it that way; they awarded Rampage with a unanimous decision. What happened after the fight was the real draw though. King Mo and Rampage started jaw-jacking. During the Spike TV portion of the broadcast, King Mo accused Bjorn Rebney of “dick riding” Rampage. He didn’t hold in such feelings in his post-fight speech, nor did he silence himself at the post-fight presser. Him and Rampage yelled at each other while the presser stream intermittently died possibly due to the sheer volume of viewers.

So what’s the fallout?

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Bellator 120: Rampage Edges King Mo, Will Brooks Out-Points Michael Chandler

Tonight, Bellator will make its first foray into the PPV market after a botched attempt last year. Bellator 120 was originally scheduled to be main-evented by the rubber match between Eddie Alvarez and Michael Chandler, but Alvarez recently withdrew due to a concussion. Bellator matched up Chandler with Will Brooks, and bumped King Mo vs. Rampage Jackson into the card’s main event. We’ve also got Tito Ortiz vs. Alexander Shlemenko, Blagoi Ivanov vs. Alexander Volkov, and Michael Page vs. Ricky Rainey.

In this liveblog of Bellator’s first-ever PPV, CagePotato social media kosmonaut and weekend editor Matt Saccaro will be giving you the results for the PPV portion of the fight card, in case you’re too cheap to buy it or don’t have access to it for some reason. He’ll also be posting quick results from the rest of the event, as well as his typical analysis of commercials on the Spike TV portion of the broadcast.

The PPV begins at 10:00 pm EST. The Spike TV preliminaries start at 8:00 pm EST. We’ll start posting results after the jump shortly thereafter. Refresh the page every few minutes for all the latest.

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Why Do MMA Fans Want Bellator to Fail?


(“Ay dog, just give it to me straight — am I the father or not?” / Photo via ora.tv)

By Matt Saccaro

Bellator 120 is a day away, but the MMA world doesn’t seem to care…unless of course they’re deriding the Viacom-owned promotion’s PPV endeavors.

People like laughing at Bellator. That goes for both fans and media. MMAJunkie’s Ben Fowlkes noted this phenomenon recently:

You make a fair point about the undercurrent of glee in the response to every new Bellator setback. It reminds me of the late IFL CEO Jay Larkin, who, when convening a conference call to essentially sound the death knell for that organization, bitterly remarked that it seemed to be the most interest the MMA media had ever shown in an IFL announcement. In other words, it’s not just Bellator feeling that sting. As much as MMA seems to recognize the need for a serious competitor to the UFC, it also seems to love to watch those contenders rise and fall. I’m not sure I know why that is, but I do know that, if you are one of those contenders, you don’t help the situation by complaining about it.

So I’m not alone in this; it’s clear that anti-Bellator sentiment is pervasive. But why?

Regarding fans, the sport and the sport’s chief brand—the UFC—are typically conflated. Most casual fans don’t know that MMA and the UFC are two different things. If it’s not UFC, it’s nothing; they’ll believe anything the UFC tells them without question. The UFC’s ability to produce stars might be lacking, but they’re as good at producing ideologues as they ever were.

However, this doesn’t answer why the hardcore fans hate Bellator. Hardcores often have an anti-UFC slant (they’re still mad about Pride and Strikeforce). So it seems only natural they’d be big Bellator supporters, especially since Bellator’s tournament structure purportedly reduces title shot chicanery that the UFC is infamous for. Except it doesn’t. They screwed Attila Vegh because he wasn’t profitable enough. They engineered the season 10 light heavyweight tournament for the most favorable outcome (King Mo vs. Rampage). Bellator went from providing something novel and refreshing to being a second-rate UFC clone. And let’s not even mention pushing an ancient, injury prone Tito Ortiz and a past-his-prime, embarrassingly disinterested Rampage Jackson as superstars.

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Seven Last-Minute Changes to the Bellator PPV That Would Actually Make It Worth Paying For


(Trust us, Bjorn. When Tito pulls out of the Shlemenko fight in a few days, you’ll want to start thinking outside the box. / Photo courtesy of Sherdog.)

By Seth Falvo

By now, you’ve all heard the news: The main event of Bellator’s inaugural pay-per-view has been cancelled due to one of the headliners getting injured only one week out from the fight…again. Except this time around, Bellator isn’t simply moving the remaining card to Spike TV. Instead, Bellator is making Rampage vs. King Mo the new main event, having Michael Chandler fight Will Brooks for a completely meaningless interim lightweight title, moving Alexander Volkov vs. Blagoi Ivanov to the main card, and asking us to kindly fork over our money for this new line-up.

I hate to be pessimistic, but I really don’t think this strategy is going to end well for anyone involved.

The biggest problem with the “Alvarez vs. Chandler III-free” Bellator 120 is that there’s no hook. Every good pay-per-view has to be about something, and if “These two aging light-heavyweights used to really hate each other five years ago” is that something, it’s doubtful that too many fans are going to spend both their money and a Saturday night on it. The boom period for MMA on pay-per-view is long gone. If a new competitor is going to put on a successful pay-per-view event, it’s going to need a stronger product than UFC Lite — it’s going to need something to make it actually stand out.

So it’s in that spirit that I’ve decided to offer up a few last-minute suggestions to make Bellator 120 a more interesting card, to both the casual MMA fans and the grizzled diehards who Bellator is hoping to attract. All of these suggestions are at least a little crazy. Some are crazy enough to actually work. We’ll start off with what I feel is the most practical, then descend further into madness in no particular order…

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Bellator 119 a Success but Storm Clouds Gather for PPV Prospects


(Via Brian J. D’Souza)

By Brian J. D’Souza

Last night, Bellator 119 was held at Casino Rama in Orillia, a sleepy town about two hours north of Toronto. By some standards, the show was a success—it featured performances by a talented, well-matched card punctuated with Daniel Weichel (33-8) finishing Desmond Green (11-2) via rear naked choke in the second round of the featherweight tournament finale. It was the type of mid-level show that has proved financially sustainable in the gritty dog-eat-dog world of MMA promotions. Regardless of sweeping reports from Sherdog.com and MMAFighting.com that Eddie Alvarez is pulling out of the inaugural Bellator pay-per-view show next week (reports that Bjorn Rebney denied at the post-fight presser), the promotion’soverall prospects for expansion are limited.

On the undercard of Bellator 119, Brazilian featherweight Marlon Sandro faced London, Ontario native Chris Horodecki. Sandro controlled the pace, committing to his strikes and dominating Horodecki to earn the judge’s decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27). At the post-fight presser, Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney explained reasons why the bout was intentionally hidden among the untelevised preliminary bouts:

“Ran into some difficult contract situations that came to light in the last 24-48 hours before the fight…we all felt it was a better decision to keep the [Sandro-Horodecki] fight off TV and not exacerbate a bad situation,” said Rebney. “We got a lot of claims coming in from other camps that were claiming an interest in Chris Horodecki. We didn’t want to put him in a horrible spot of receiving a big lawsuit.”

Chris Horodecki has fought in three separate promotions since his last three-fight Bellator stint. If he is still under contract to another promotion, Horodecki needs to question his management for placing him in the precarious lose-lose position of limited exposure and shortchanging Bellator’s TV product.

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Concussion Forces Eddie Alvarez Out of Bellator PPV

Did Dana White study voodoo from Michael Jackson or something? Because Bellator has had worse luck than than nearly any promotion in the history of MMA when it comes to launching a successful PPV.

In case the headline didn’t tip you off, Eddie Alvarez is out of Bellator 120—the promotion’s second attempt to break into the PPV market. His rubber match with Michael Chandler will have to wait.

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Ranking All Nine Fights on the Bellator PPV Card, By My Interest Level

By Seth Falvo

To surprisingly little reaction this weekend, Bellator announced that the lineup for Bellator 120: Alvarez vs. Chandler 3 — also known as the promotion’s first pay-per-view event — has been set. (Bellator 120 goes down Saturday, May 17th, at the Landers Center in Southaven, Mississippi.) Don’t worry, Bellator has clearly learned from their whole “plan a pay-per-view around two old guys and some fading UFC castoffs” phase. But are there enough intriguing, quality fights on this lineup to justify paying for a Bellator event? Let’s look over the fight card and determine for ourselves.

All nine of the fights for Bellator 120 — four Spike preliminaries, five main card contests — have been ranked solely by my interest in watching them. If you disagree, feel free to write some terrible things about me in the comments section. I look forward to ignoring them.

(Main Card) Lightweight Championship Bout: Eddie Alvarez (c) vs. Michael Chandler

I don’t think either fighter is even capable of a boring match, much less a boring match against each other. I could type paragraph after paragraph on how their first two encounters resulted in two of the greatest fights in our sport’s history, and how…oh why am I even trying to pretend that I’m not going to insert an Al Bundy GIF and move along to the next fight:

(Preliminary Card) Lightweight Tournament Final: Marcin Held vs. Patricky Pitbull

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Poll: Which Injury/Disease Will Inevitably Take Down Tito Ortiz *This* Time?


(“Sorry Bjorn, Von Willebrand disease.”)

Last week, Bellator middleweight champ Alexander Shlemenko called out Tito Ortiz via a stoic, multilingual Youtube video, even though he understood that “Tito Ortiz, different weight class.” Ortiz immediately accepted the fight via Instagram because he’s real good at accepting fights, and before we had time to stop and ask, “Wait, what the fuck?”, Bellator went and booked the fight for their May 17th pay-per-view. Bjorn Rebney’s line of reasoning was as follows:

Tito wants a fight. Shlemenko wants a fight. As a fan, I would love to see the fight. I think it’s got this incredible, kinda cool dynamic going where a small 85er who could conceptually make 70 is going to move up to 205 to fight one of the greatest fighters in the history of 205. 

I can’t even with that logic, so for now let’s just focus on the matchup at hand, and more specifically, how it will never actually happen on account of Ortiz pulling out with an injury or sickness in the coming weeks.

Tito Ortiz may be one of the greatest 205ers of all time, but he also has, as Rebney admitted, “a long and storied history of getting injured preparing for fights.” He was injured pretty much his entire UFC career, if you were to ask him, and it’s been the same for his Bellator career thus far. That being the case, we all might as well speculate as to the extent of the injury he will inevitably pull out of *this* fight with, right? It’s the Christian thing to do, so join us after the jump to vote in our poll.

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VIDEO: Alexander Shlemenko Challenges Tito Ortiz to a Fight in Two Languages, Both of Them Emotionless [UPDATED]


(Complete lack of facial expressions? Unbuttoned shirt, to expose a gold medallion with possible religious significance? I’m going to take a wild guess and say this man is from…Russia? / Props: YouTube.com/alnado)

Bellator’s “Alvarez vs. Chandler III” pay-per-view card is just over a month away, but only three fights have been officially confirmed so far. And so, reigning middleweight champion Alexander Shlemenko has decided to do a little YouTube matchmaking to get a big fight on the card. Here’s what “Storm” had to say in a video statement released yesterday; I’ve done my best to transcribe it in its entirety…

Tito Ortiz, you say you want to fight May 17th on Bellator’s PPV. I will fight you. I will beat you. Tito, I respect you but I must beat you because I am champion. I know that Tito Ortiz, different weight class. I know that Tito Ortiz, light-heavyweight. This is not problem for me. I ready. I ready fight with light-heavyweight, no problem. Bjorn, make this fight for me because I am champion. I am ze best. I will make good fight. Fight of the night.

Prietziem. Seemnostomyabelotaprauwitzwapeerupayperview. Nitumtooneerihayagustipi Tito Ortiz. Tito Ortiz teeshasivisapeernika. Yagatostitevosapeerniko. Yasneshtomostupait foljoelenvisi. Yagatoldrasisniev foljoelenvisi. Yasneshtayamagul weegretinyugu. Bjorn, ebulyetur. Esyolsdebajolstinyaboi? Maaah. Payperviewsinos stowamyaprotiv. Tito Ortiz-eh. Yabolugotov, yabagozhareseevaboi.”

Ortiz has already accepted the challenge via Instragram and is already doing the kind of intense training that will lead to a back injury about three weeks from now. You heard it here first.

UPDATE: According to Sherdog, Shlemenko vs. Ortiz has been booked for the 5/17 PPV.

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Rampage Jackson vs. King Mo Booked as Co-Main Event for Bellator’s May 17th PPV


(Look, unless somebody’s getting hit in the head with a hammer, I’m just not interested.)

In case you missed the announcement a couple weeks back, Bellator is going to attempt to put on a pay-per-view event once again, with a May 17th card headlined by the rubber-match between Eddie Alvarez and Michael Chandler. Today, Bellator sent out a press release confirming the venue — the Landers Center in Southaven, Mississippi, just a short drive from Memphis — and the co-main event, which will be Quinton “Rampage” Jackson vs. Muhammad “King Mo” Lawal in the finals of the Season 10 Light Heavyweight Tournament.

In terms of fake heat, Rampage vs. King Mo might even rank above Chael vs. Wandy on the bullshit scale. Then again, this is arguably the biggest fight that Bellator can throw together right now in terms of star power, and booking it for the promotion’s (fingers crossed) first PPV show only seems logical. No other fights for the May 17th card have been announced yet; we’ll keep you posted. Some notable quotes/exaggerations from Bellator’s latest press release are below…

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