It has been a whirlwind for Bellator in the past week, as their pay-per-view aspirations came to a screeching halt with the injury of Tito Ortiz. The headliner was knocked out due to a neck injury, effectively pulling the much-advertised bout against Rampage Jackson.
However, not all is lost with this card, as it now moves to Spike TV. Still on the card are the three title fights and a number of top-level talents currently with the company.
Here are five reasons to watch Bellator 106 this weekend.
Despite the low ratings and low interest Fight Master generated in its first season, I have to say that I liked the show. It didn't have a bunch of house drama, it mostly focused on the fights for that week.
Sure, the talent on the show wasn't blowing anybody away, but the fights were pretty entertaining nonetheless. I also liked the idea that fighters picked their coaches.
What we have in the finale is long-time MMA veteran Joe Riggs taking on brawler Mike Bronzoulis. It is an intriguing matchup that sees two well-rounded guys putting on for their coaches Greg Jackson and Randy Couture, respectively.
Riggs tapped out Rob Mills and won decisions over Eric Scallan, Evan Cutts and Cole Williams to get to the finals. In all of those fights, we saw vintage Riggs, who was well-rounded and durable.
As for Bronzoulis, he decisioned Gareth Joseph to get into the house. From there, he beat Jason Norwood, Chris Lozano and Eric Bradley to make it to the finale, all the while showing immense power in his striking.
The winner gets some cash and a future welterweight tournament slot. The loser will not be remembered.
There's something about this whole situation surrounding champion Attila Vegh, rightful top contender Emanuel Newton and on-deck top contender Muhammed Lawal that just doesn't make sense.
Vegh is the champion and has been for a short time. Apparently, he was injured and could not defend his title at the pay-per-view.
So despite holding the title since just February, Bellator decided to take its two top contenders and have them fight for an interim title.
However, Bellator told Vegh to stay ready just in case their was an injury so he could fill in. Wasn't he supposed to be hurt, thus why he couldn't defend the title?
Even more weird is that if he could be ready as a late replacement, why are they creating an interim title? What it points to is Bellator's sheer desperation to make a convincing fight on what was supposed to be pay-per-view, and apparently Emanuel Newton-Attila Vegh II wasn't as marketable as an early pay-per-view rematch between Newton and Lawal.
Anyways, with that whole sticky situation looking like a blemish on Bellator, we still have ourselves an interesting fight between Newton and Lawal. If you remember, Lawal ate a spinning back fist that put him to sleep faster than ten shots of Nyquil.
Now he gets a rematch while effectively taking away Newton's rightful crack and rematch at Vegh, a man who controversially beat Newton by a questionable decision.
What did Newton do so wrong to warrant that treatment?
Yes, one of the reasons to watch Bellator 106 is because of one man: Pat Curran.
Curran is possibly a top-five featherweight in the world. You read that right, including UFC 145ers, Curran is quite possibly in the upper echelon of the division.
Curran comes into Bellator 106 as the reigning, defending Bellator champion at 145. After taking the belt with extreme prejudice against Joe Warren, he has staved off Patricio Freire and Shahbulat Shamhalaev to stay champion.
Now he has a man he is familiar with in Daniel Straus. The two met back in 2009 on Curran's home turf, where the current Bellator champion dismembered Straus with a nasty knockout.
Since then, both men have grown dramatically. Straus is durable and aggressive, but Curran has shown excellent all-around skills.
We'll see who floats to the top when the dust settles.
If there has been a rematch outside the UFC that fans have been clamoring to see, it easily has to be Michael Chandler-Eddie Alvarez.
Their first encounter saw Eddie Alvarez walk in as a heavy favorite and the champion, while Chandler was a tournament winner with raw skills and untapped potential. What ensued was an all-time classic that shocked the masses.
Despite taking a beating early on in the fight, Chandler stuck in there and fought on. Late in the fight, he caught Alvarez with a hard punch and smelled blood.
He pounced on the fallen champion and secured a submission win, scoring one of the biggest upsets in years. Chandler remained champion since then, while Alvarez went through a very frustrating public court case with Bellator.
Now they meet again in the main event. Will Alvarez get his revenge or will Chandler prove to be one of the true, top lightweights in the world.
Bellator 106 went from a pay-per-view many were hesitant to buy to a card that is now being shown on free TV. It doesn't get much better than that.
Though the headliner of the card was formerly Rampage Jackson vs. Tito Ortiz, many of the fans who were going to tune into the event were most looking forward to the title fights. Sure, Jackson and Ortiz are household names, but so is garbage, and that stinks when it gets old too (credit Jim Cornette).
Ortiz's injury was a blessing in disguise, as now you have an absolutely stacked Bellator card on free TV. The lightweight, featherweight and interim light heavyweight titles are all on the line, as is the finale for Bellator's Fight Master show.
You don't even have to pay a dime.
Follow me on Twitter for MMA news and other random thoughts (@RileyKontekMMA). Or don't that's cool too.