Go Watch Bellator: One Fan's Rallying Cry
I have no idea if this is going to change anything or have an effect on anyone. I don’t want to consider this a movement, although I would like to consider it a rallying cry. The purpose of this post is pretty simple: I want you to go watch Bellator. This will probably be long and rambling, but bear with me, as it is my way. Ready? Let’s begin.
I’ve been a Bellator fan since they debuted on MTV2. I came relatively late to the party, but I still consider myself a diehard fan. I just think that there are “tiers” to being a diehard fan, and the ones that saw Bellator from the beginning are simply in a higher tier than me.
Before the MTV2 deal, I was only marginally familiar with Bellator. It just wasn’t on my radar at all. And I can admit, I wanted to see Bellator on MTV2 mostly because I wanted to see how long it would take for this idea to fail.
Can you blame me? A live, weekly MMA event on a network like MTV2? It just seemed strange, downright bizarre. I knew from the get-go that if the shows didn’t perform, there was almost zero chance that MMA would click with the MTV2 audience. With a lot of hesitation and a decidedly morbid sense of curiosity, I began watching Bellator regularly.
What I saw, and what I continue to see, was and is one of the greatest Mixed Marital Arts promotions I have ever seen in my life.
There are so many things to like about Bellator. First off, their presentation is a lot of fun. Every time I see a Bellator event, I know that I’m watching something that is uniquely Bellator.
The commentary team is spot-on, and in my opinion, they’re only second to Joe Rogan and Mike Goldberg. The design of their cage also instantly gives the promotions their own unique feel.
And of course, you can’t beat weekly, live MMA.
Think about that for a second: Every single week, for a few months straight, you’re getting live Mixed Martial Arts events. I can only guess how hard that must be to pull off, and my guess is that it isn’t easy. Not even the UFC can offer weekly events for months straight.
And now we come to the meat of my argument: my No. 1 reason to watch this promotion. I could give countless examples from countless Bellator events, up and down Bellator’s sometimes-tumultuous history. But it all boils down to one key point.
Pound-for-pound, Bellator may be the best MMA promotion in the world right now.
I say “pound for pound” because you have to consider one simple fact.
On the tightest budget of all three of the major MMA promotions, and with a history of being on the smallest and most obscure network of the three major MMA promotions, Bellator FC has still somehow managed to deliver fights that have matched and even sometimes surpassed any of the fights/events that Strikeforce or even the UFC has put on.
They’ve done it with a roster of talent from around the world and from all walks of life. Some divisions are admittedly weaker than others. But fans are realizing more and more lately that many of the top Bellator stars, particularly in Bellator’s lighter-weight divisions, could make serious runs in both Strikeforce and the UFC.
And when you consider the “new age” of Strikeforce, with almost all of Strikeforce’s biggest stars now in the UFC, I think it’s only a matter of time before Bellator surpasses Strikeforce in all areas.
Every time Bellator starts up a new season, they deliver highlight-reel moments again and again, seemingly with ease.
Maybe it’s an awesome submission (inverted triangle anyone?) or a crazy KO (Pat Curran anyone?). Maybe it’s a three-round or even five-round all-out war. Maybe it’s the shock of a tournament favorite losing, or the surprise of a tournament “dark horse” fighting to the finals.
The world of Bellator is filled with stories that twist and turn, but no matter what else happens, it all ends with two guys in the cage giving their all.
Before I go, let me say this: Bellator is not a perfect promotion. They’ve had bad fights, they’ve even had entire events that I haven’t liked.
I can even admit, somewhat apologetically, that in the grand scheme of things, sometimes I’ve simply forgotten about Bellator for a few days and missed a Bellator show entirely. But as with any sport, you have to take the bad with the good.
And maybe that’s my entire point: Bellator has had its bad moments, but there are so many good things about this promotion that I want to try to convince as many people as possible to do one simple thing: go watch Bellator.
This entire post has more or less been me standing on the soapbox, and there may be more of that in the posts/articles to come where I continue to make my case for why I love this promotion so much.
As I said in the beginning…bear with me, it is my way. I will leave you with this: just give it a chance. You’ll be surprised how easy it is to become a fan of this promotion. I should know, I was that guy not so long ago, and I’ve even gotten some of my friends hooked on Bellator when they too knew practically nothing about the promotion.
It’s a treat, it’s a breath of fresh air, it’s a welcome divergence from the norm. It is Bellator, and there is only one Bellator.
So go watch Bellator.
And one final note: if you’re a Twitter user and want to get in on the discussion and/or offer up your own insight, feel free to use #gowatchbellator in your tweets to help spread the word.
Oliver Saenz, also known as PdW2kX, is a freelance journalist, opinion columnist, hardcore MMA fan, and lifelong video game nerd. For more news, views, previews, and reviews on all things Mixed Martial Arts as well as video games, be sure to visit FightGamesBlog.net.
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