What is Up With Bellator MMA?
Following yet another controversial main-event some have come to question the legitimacy of Bellator MMA and other organizations like the UFC. For those of you that don’t know this wouldn’t be the first time fight fixing spelled the demise of an MMA organization. Pride FC, was a Japanese MMA brand that in its heyday was widely regarded as the premier organization, topping even the UFC. The talent pool was ridiculous, and many UFC fighters gained their fame in Pride first. However, once rumors of fight fixing became rampant it was discovered that the Yakuza, Japan’s infamous organized crime syndicate, were involved with the organization, the fights were closed and Pride FC was finished.
With such a vivid example of the dangers of fight fixing it really begs the question why Bellator officials have not slammed the door on these allegations. And it’s not only fans the are suspicious. Fighters, like Dan Hardy, have criticized some of the decisions the fighters involved in these matches have made. There have been 5 major fights that have caused quite a stir, and opened up questions of Bellator’s legitimacy.
- Chael Sonnen vs. Tito Ortiz
- Ken Shamrock vs Kimbo Slice
- Shamrock vs Royce Gracie
- Tito Ortiz vs Alexander Shlemenko
- Kimbo Slice vs Dada 5000
The most recent fight Chael Sonnen vs Tito Ortiz is still fresh in our minds so lets go over all the breadcrumbs.
- It is the last fight of Tito Ortiz’s long prolific career. (Sending him out on a win is a popular move)
- Chael Sonnen is shady, once convicted of money laundering, and a part owner of Bellator
- When Ortiz shot for the take-down Sonnen, an avid wrestler, seemed to lay down instead of sprawl and prevent it.
- Sonnen had a choke but released it for “better” position.
- Sonnen did no hand fighting in order to prevent Ortiz from securing position and ultimately the “choke”.
- Ortiz did not secure the choke under the chin, making it more of a head squeeze crank (rare to finish someone like this)
- The fight lasted 2 minutes with minimal damage to both fighters, no punches thrown on the ground. Suspicious of two ground and pound fighters.
Ken Shamrock vs Kimbo Slice (check out this extensive write up)
- Shamrock walked to the ring shaking hands and cheesing the crowd.
- They tied up early with no strikes thrown, mouth to ear known in pro-wrestling for wrestlers to communicate.
- Slice went down far too easy, Shamrock barely grabbed his leg and Slice just fell back onto the mat.
- Shamrock couldn’t finish Kimbo despite having the rear naked choke clearly locked in.(Shamrock is a BJJ Black Belt)
- After “Miraculously” escaping the choke Kimbo TKO’s Shamrock, shouting “I don’t tap!” into the cameras.
- This was Bellator’s most viewed event and main event, 2.8 million viewers.
Shamrock vs Royce Gracie
- Looked suspect how Shamrock went down (could have been a low blow)
Tito Ortiz vs Alexander Shlemenko
- Ortiz’s return bout
- Once he took Shlemenko (Bellator’s Welterweight Champion), Ortiz had free reign of transitions.
- Shlemenko did not fight off any submission and Ortiz locked in the arm triangle.
- Prior to the fight, there was rumors that a high profile fighter was going to take a dive at the event.
Kimbo Slice vs Dada5000
- This may be the worst main event in the history of MMA, and the worst fight in the history of MMA. Despite that it was immensely popular.
- Even with the horrible skill on display, both fighters gassing. It all looked very weird. Ending in Dada 5000 sprawling across the ring after suffering a cardiac arrest.
- There were glimpses of a fix in how they tied up then transitioned onto the ground or into certain positions.
Even if Scott Coker and the rest of Bellator are not in on the fixing, Chael Sonnen looks like the prime candidate, they need to root this out before it’s too late. While some of these fights have more merit than others, it is not good to have any sort of conspiracy surrounding your organization. Especially when they have legitimate fighters on the roster, who can help build their brand. Bellator MMA can become a contender against the monolithic UFC. They’ve been tempting fighters away from MMA’s largest organization, and slowly building their talent pool. However, let Pride FC be a reminder of what happens to organizations that dabble in fixed bets and shady under-dealings.
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