Bellator Holds Fan Vote to Determine First Fight on SPIKE

McKinley NobleCorrespondent INovember 3, 2012

Pictured: Paul Daley (right)
Pictured: Paul Daley (right)Mark J. Rebilas-US PRESSWIRE

SPIKE will start their 2013 debut of Bellator with a main card bout featuring some of the promotion's most popular welterweight fighters.

As announced on Friday, Bellator will be hosting a "Vote For The Fight" campaign. Once the web series begins, it will follow the training camps of Paul Daley, Ben Saunders, Douglas Lima and Jon "War Machine" Koppenhaver.

Depending on fan votes, two of those four fighters will have the distinction of being part of the first Bellator fight broadcast on SPIKE in 2013.

UFC and Strikeforce veteran Daley (30-12-2) made his debut with the company at Bellator 72, defeating his opponent by technical knockout in the first round. Since being cut from the UFC after attempting to hit Josh Koscheck after the end of their UFC 113 title eliminator, Daley has gone 7-3 in his last 11 fights. 

Saunders, another UFC veteran, is currently 5-2 in Bellator with an overall 14-5-2 record. Like Daley, he also got back into the win column at Bellator 72 with a first-round knockout win over Brian Warren, who entered the match on a five-fight winning streak. 

Lima recently won Bellator's Season 5 Welterweight Tournament, but had a nine-fight winning streak snapped by champion Ben Askren. Lima rebounded this weekend at Bellator 79 by notching a third-round TKO victory, improving his professional MMA record to 22-5.

War Machine carries a 12-4 record, with his most recent win coming against Roger Huerta in November 2011. War Machine has previously competed twice in the UFC, where he ended a 1-1 stint with a first-round submission loss to Yoshiyuki Yoshida.

War Machine was later cut from the UFC not long after making public comments about former UFC middleweight champion Evan Tanner, who died in 2008 due to heat exposure during a camping trip in the desert region west of Palo Verde, California.

War Machine maintained to MMA Junkie that he suspected Tanner committed suicide, claiming that a "depressed" Tanner "never made [expletive] for money" and had "no chance for a comeback" after losing to Ultimate Fighter Season 3 winner Kendall Grove.

However, War Machine additionally drew the ire of UFC matchmaker Joe Silva after turning down a fight, which prematurely ended his 10-fight contract with the promotion:  

"Joe Silva -- he was pretty much on a power trip," War Machine said. "He was like, 'I already told you that I already have [Brandon Wolff] for War Machine. I don't know who he is thinking he's negotiating with me. You know what? I'm sick of this guy.' Then he brought up the Evan Tanner thing. 'He made a dumbass comment on Evan Tanner. He's not supporting the UFC. You know what? War Machine is cut.' And they cut me."

After multiple arrests in Las Vegas and at least two accounts of alleged assault with a deadly weapon, War Machine was eventually imprisoned in the San Diego's George Bailey Detention Facility for two years. He was released from jail on October 29, 2012.