The Bellator Heavyweight Tournament How Did We Get Here?
As Jay-Z once said “allow myself to reintroduce myself” hello My Fantasy Sports Talk it’s been a “minute” as the kids say these days. I haven’t written an article for this awesome site in quite some time but I have made my presence felt on the “My Fantasy Podcast“. From calling out Kareem Hunt pre-mighty fantasy fall to sticking it to the man (the fantasy football trading gods) by making a deal with our own Brandon Reid. A deal in that in which might kick me out of the fantasy football playoff picture but hey you miss 100% of the shots that you don’t take right? With that being said it’s good to be back. I bought a brand new mint condition iMac that I have been typing away on night in and night out for the last week now and I can’t wait to write quality Mixed Martial Arts pieces and much more for the avid readers and listeners of My Fantasy Sports Talk. So with that being said let’s get to it.
In case you haven’t heard Bellator MMA made some headlines recently and no it was not because of the postfight antics of Conor McGregor that happened–but what also took place was in my eyes an intriguing announcement to say the least. Four years ago at Bellator 108 in Atlantic City, New Jersey Alexander Volkov attempted to defend his title versus Vitaly Minakov. Volkov was seen as an up and coming fighter for the promotion and Minakov in his own right came into the bout with an undefeated record. Two minutes and fifty-seven seconds into the bout Minakov dropped Volkov and forced the referee to step in and call the action. At the time Bellator had envisioned Minakov as a quality heavyweight champion. They couldn’t have been more wrong. Now as sports fans we always try to point the finger and figure out who is at fault. You can point the finger at former Bellator President Bjorn Rebney or Vitaly Minakov himself, but let’s just be thankful that the Rebney& Minakov era is over and let us be thankful this holiday season that Scott Coker is running the show for Bellator MMA. A new leaf has been turned and so far business is booming.
Since 2014, Coker has had a great habit of understanding the MMA fan. Do we the MMA fans know that the best days of Rampage Jackson and Chael Sonnen are behind them and not ahead? Of course we do. Do we care–of course not. That’s what makes combat sports so much fun. It doesn’t necessarily have to make sense let’s just kick back and enjoy it. Now there are rules to Coker’s method of madness. Some of which have been enjoyable while others have provided fight fans with the worst fights the sport has ever seen. Case in point, the late Kimbo Slice versus Dada 5000, Ken Shamrock versus anyone… I can just stop there. Go on YouTube and watch it for yourself. I think two local bums at corner gas station swapping hands would have been more entertaining than that fight. It is what it is Bellator had to do something to attract eyes to their promotion. Think of it this way–even if it was bad people still remember it and in the sake of promotion that is considered mission accomplished.
On the flip side of that we have seen Bellator acquire supreme talent for their brand. Rory MacDonald, Gegard Mousasi, Ryan Bader, and Phil Davis to name a few. Those are the fighters that Bellator has brought in for talent purposes. Bellator has also been able to bring in plenty of big names that still have some gas left in the tank but their better days are behind them case in point Rampage Jackson, Chael Sonnen, Frank Mir, Roy Nelson, and last but not least Fedor. Which brings me to the latest news that Bellator announced this past week. From January to May eight fighters from the Light Heavyweight and Heavyweight division will battle it out for the now vacant Bellator Heavyweight Championship. Despite the criticism and despite of the initial reaction within the MMA community my initial reaction which still holds true to this very minute was in the words of the great Ric Flair “WOOOOOOOOO”.
Like it or not this is going to memorable, fun, and entertaining. Like it or not this will be a far cry from the cookie cutter image that the UFC has jammed down the proverbial throats of MMA fans. Like it or not we will see a “Flair” like atmosphere throughout the tournament. Personalized entrances, fighter sponsors, and at legends will fight legends. I like the sound of that. The fights are perfect. Rampage vs Chael. Mitrione vs Nelson. Fedor vs Mir. Bader vs Lawal. What is not to like? Well done Bellator. Well done Scott Coker thank you for giving hardcore fight fans like myself a chance to see fights that we never thought were possible. To all the fight fans that hate this I ask you what would you rather have Bellator do?
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