27 Aug 2012 07:37:26 AM
(Dantas vs. Nam @ Shooto Brazil 33, 8/25/12. Skip to 4:26 for the knockout.)
By Jim Genia
The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines “folly” as “lack of good sense or normal prudence and foresight.” Bellator president Bjorn Rebney, however, likely now defines it as making the ridiculous mistake of letting one of his champions fight somewhere else. This past weekend, Bellator bantamweight king Eduardo Dantas was allowed by his American employers to take a fight closer to home in Rio de Janeiro, for the promotion Shooto Brasil. There, he met Oregon-based fighter Tyson Nam — a 12-4 regional competitor and, by all appearances, easy prey. And guess what? Dantas got knocked the heck out in the first round. Yeah, Bellator done goofed.
If there are unwritten rules to promoting MMA events, somewhere near the top of the list has to be “never let your champs fight in other shows.” Because, really, while the reward for said fighter winning is the implication that your organization is superior in terms of the quality of its competitors, the risk is that your guy could get his butt kicked. In that scenario, what’s implied (or sometimes stated explicitly) is that your fighters suck — or, at the very least, that the fighters in the other shows are better. And who wants to be the one with the weaker fighters?
Not the UFC, that’s for sure. Take for instance the failed contract negotiations to get heavyweight legend Fedor Emelianenko into the Octagon, and the alleged stipulation that Fedor, if he signed with the UFC, wouldn’t have been allowed to even compete in sambo tournaments in Mother Russia. Do you think Dana White wants tarnished fighters? He doesn’t even want them losing in something that’s not even mixed martial arts! (Sadly, this wasn’t always policy; see below.)Read More ADD COMMENTS (12) DIGG THIS