So, a lot of you have probably seen the news that Bellator's upcoming HISTORIC pay-per-view super-event has only sold 1700 tickets.
This prompted one BE user to respond by simply posting this:
Now, I'm not sure what nautical vessels and seamanship have to do with MMA, but if the argument this user was trying to make was that this Bellator event WOULDN'T be vastly improved by holding it on a giant cruise ship in international waters, I would have to firmly disagree.
This made me realize though that, yeah, the outlook for the event, commercially, isn't great. It needs to be improved. Bellator needs to crank that notch to 11. They need to up the ante. They need to make the event truly HISTORIC. They already did this by involving TNA. Well you know what? Fuck that. They didn't go far enough. Here's my list of reasons why the event isn't selling and potential solutions to those problems.
1. Not enough Roy Jones Jr.
Bellator was extremely effective in their hyping their main event....by promoting a completely DIFFERENT, completely fabricated main event for MONTHS prior to the main event announcement. And it worked really well. So clearly, people want more Roy Jones Jr.
Solution: Rampage vs. Tito not big enough? How about Rampage vs. Tito vs. Roy Jones Jr.? That's right, motherfuckers. Triple threat match.
Anderson Silva vs. Roy Jones Jr? Rampage vs. Roy Jones Jr? The people just want Roy Jones Jr!
2. Eddie Alvarez contract controversy.
As great as Chandler/Alvarez was and as much as the rematch should be fun, Alvarez's long lay-off due to his well-publicized contract dispute with Bellator (and the fact a lot of people wanted him in the UFC) has put a sour taste in people's mouths when it comes to this fight.
Solution: Turn this into a CONTRACT ON A POLE MATCH. That's right, I'm advising that Bellator errect a 30 foot pole in the centre of the cage, at the top of which is a UFC contract and a Bellator release. First man to grab it is released from Bellator and goes to the UFC
Accurate visual of what match would look like. Chandler and Alvarez can wear speedos and luchador masks if they so choose.
3. King Mo isn't Champion
Listen, Bellator knows what the people want: KING MO. Everybody knows that King Mo is basically Jon Jones. The problem though is that to be champion, he actually has to fight people to win the belt. That sucks. And who cares about Emanuel Newton and Attila Vegh?
Solution: Cancel Mo/Newton II entirely and instead schedule a 30 minutes "King Mo Coronation Ceremony" in which King Mo is simply handed a title belt in which he cuts a promo for 20 minutes and dances for another 10 minutes. Bellator doesn't have to strip Vegh or anything, they can just pretend he doesn't exist. Or they could just have him stand at the end of the ramp, I'm sorry "Victory Lane", staring at Mo menacingly
Dance, Mo, Dance. How could you say no to 30 minutes of this?
Yeah, they're good fighters, but outside of hardcore fans, does anyone care about these two guys? They've got the charisma of soggy, 1960s cereal boxes. Oh, and Straus is a wrestler. Ugh. Yeah. Smell the buy-rate.
Solution: What do you do when you have two guys with zero charisma? GIMMICKS.
I suggest going to a ready and easy and always classy stand-by: race. Pat Curran comes out as a tea partier and starts saying increasingly questionable and eventually downright offensive things about Barack Obama and, ultimately, black people. Then you can have videos emphasizing that Straus was really, really poor growing up and found God after a life of crime (regardless of whether or not this is true). That's HEAT.
Oh, and add the stipulation that if Curran loses, he can never fight on American soil again! USA! USA!
Pat Curran, just mix that with caffeine and hate-speech, and you're good to go.
5. Cheick Kongo is just a UFC wash-out.
Cheick Kongo looked pretty shot at the end of his tenure, the Bellator HW division is mostly composed of sloppy brawlers straight out of 1995, and Kongo has been shown to be unable to hang in the UFC any longer. But here he is, in a tournament final.
Solution: What's Kongo REALLY known for? Nutshots. Lots and lots of nutshots. Hell, maybe it's why his fights have turned into boring hugfests: he has to find a way to conceal those nutshots.
Let's unleash the beast and make his fight with Quieroz a NO DISQUALIFICATION match. That's right, Kongo can downright speedbag those nuts. He can Liu Kang bicycle kick those testes and we can finally see him get those "significant strikes" that he's been training for years.
It also builds up a great future match with Eric Prindle or Thiago Santos. I can already see the highlight packages: slow-motion replays of Prindle's nut-crunching axe kick accompanied with the sound of a cannon going off followed by a blistering highlight package of a decade's worth of nutshots from Kongo. Is that another main event I'm smelling?
Cup Cheick, living the dream.
6. It isn't 2006
I've heard this stated a lot: that if this fight was going on in 2006, it would be the BEST THING EVER but now both tito and Rampage are "past it", making a once relevant fight irrelevant.
Solution: Why CAN'T it be 2006? Have Tito and Rampage wear the exact trunks and gloves they wore in 2006. Change all signs of time and date in the arena to 2006. Announce Tito's record as 15-4 and Rampage's as 25-6. And have the commentators continually talk about "Tito's recent war with the legendary Ken Shamrock" while waxing on about nothing but Rampage's Pride accomplishments
Mandatory house music.
7. Seriously though, these guys are fucking old.
Yeah, alright, they sort of are. But that's not necessarily a bad thing....
Solution: Not if you make it a retirement match! Wrestling's been doing this for years. The loser MUST retire. Right there. On the spot. Right after the fight. Bjorn Rebney has to come right in and say "YOU'RE RETIIIIIIRED" right there after the fight. That includes Roy Jones. Even though this was his first MMA fight ever. He's RETIIIIIIRED
8. Bjorn Rebney is slimy and I want nothing to do with him!
Rebney's taken a lot of heat lately: going back on what were once major Bellator philosophies, the matching clauses, etc etc. Some people can't stand him.
Solution: Newly added co-main event: Eddie Alvarez vs. Bjorn Rebney (regardless of the outcome of Chandler/Alvarez II). Eddie Alvarez is officially t he Stone Cold Steve Austin of Bellator. Oh hell yeah!
So smug. Tell me you wanted pay $40 for this.
9. The prelims aren't interesting enough to bring up the buy-rate
Yeah, looking at the prelims, they sort of suck. Basically, it's packed with a bunch of unknowns with the odd UFC washout. Hardly encouraging.
Solution: MORE RUSSIANS. If there's one thing Bellator does well, it's Russian fighters. More accurately, Russians instantly make a fight between unknowns all the more exciting. Because random Russian dude versus random midwestern can is always a guaranteed good time. Put a Russian sambo dude in every single one of those prelims and you've gone from 3 hour piss-break to 3 hours of legalized homicide. Rock on!
Russia: where American cans go to die.
10. I don't know....it's still just missing....something
Still looking at the event and thinking it feels a bit empty....let me help with that..
If there's one fighter who's been able to sustain, carry, and save flaggin promotions, it's Fedor.
True power-players. Bjorn Rebney, take notes.