Last night, Bellator continued its new partnership with MTV2 and its attempt to infiltrate the national airwaves. With the recent Zuffa acquisition of Strikeforce, the "B-slot" of MMA organizations is rumored to be open, and Bellator is vying for it. So how's that working out for them?
First off, there's the production itself. I understand that Bellator and Bjorn don't have total control of the production. MTV is, at very least, co-piloting the plane. That being said, it's important to state that a total of FOUR fights were shown during a period of TWO hours. MTV2's broadcast made SpikeTV's showing of UFC Fight Night 24 look like a commercial free fight marathon. All I can say is that I'm glad I DVR'ed this card, because if I hadn't, I would've lost interest and stopped watching. They've got to do a better job with content and continuity or what little viewership they currently hold is going to quickly go by the wayside.
To the actual fights.
I honestly didn't see this fight going the way it did. I thought Imada would use his superior takedowns to get Pitbull on the mat, and then sub him the way he has most of his opponents. Wrong. Pitbull nailed Imada with a brutal flying knee, followed by a melee of strikes that caused the fight to be stopped via TKO at 2:53 of the 1st round.
Saunders vs. Lee
How do you not love Ben Saunders. I've been a fan of his since his stint of The Ultimate Fighter. He just seems like a fun guy. He's one of a group of select fighters who seem to enjoy getting hit. Luckily for 'Killa B', he didn't have to worry too much about that in this fight. With an onslaught of knees, elbows and kicks, Saunders executed some beautiful muay thai technique on the way to beating Matt Sung Lee via doctor stoppage. It's been a while since I've seen that much blood come from one man's face. Well done.
Hawn vs. Good
Be offended if you want, but I'm not going to even comment on this fight. Youtube it if you want. I was bored to tears. If you do end up watching this fight card via DVR, skip this fight. Just my opinion. If you wanna see a guy lay on top of another guy for 15 minutes....well...watch this fight I guess, cuz I have no other suggestions that will meet your criteria.
Alvarez vs. Curran
Alvarez's cardio is fantastic. The guy never stopped moving. His foot movement is very comparable to that of Dominick Cruz. It's easy to see why fight fans everywhere want to see Eddie go up against the top lightweights in the world. Here's the problem: Pat Curran is not that. Don't get me wrong. I DO NOT want to disrespect Curran. I love the guy. His jiu jitsu is phenomenal. He has tons of heart. But he isn't a ranked 155'er. Not anywhere. Curran stuffed almost every single one of Alvarez's takedown attempts. Alvarez landed a ton of strikes, but none of them really looked to damage Curran. The fight ended with Curran in a controlling top position, and Alvarez breathing a deep sigh of relief as the final horn sounded (ok...probably not that deep...but a sigh nonetheless). There's no question Alvarez won this fight, but after all the talk of him being in the conversation for being the #1 LW in the world (a lot of the talk being precipitated by Eddie himself), this fight did not help the cause. The truth is that he can never be accurately evaluated until he faces better competition, and he'll never do that with Bellator. Sorry Eddie. Sorry Bjorn.