As I watched the third episode of Bellator’s reality show venture, Fight Master, one thought kept popping into my head; “Why put a fighter like Joe Riggs on the show?” To be more specific, one wonders what an emerging company like Bellator has to gain from putting a fighter such a Riggs onto their first attempt at a reality show tournament. Riggs is a very capable veteran who has a very legitimate chance at winning the whole thing. And, according to many internet rumors, he has already secured a spot in the finals.
The goal of the show should be to find a tournament winner who is a developing prospect that the promotion can market as the next big Bellator star. This would fall in line with what has long been Bellator’s strategy; building stars from within. Joe Riggs is instead a journeyman fighter with 60 fights on his record, having fought in many organizations including the UFC and Strikeforce. Should Riggs win, and it is very possible he could, it will be a very difficult task to market him as that next big star. While he is only 30 years old, it will be difficult to excite those within the mixed martial arts community about a fighter they have seen compete for over a decade. Win or lose, the decision to include Riggs is puzzling.