USA TODAY Sports
The Bellator promotion, reflexively ridiculed by so many for so long, is always swimming against a stiff current.
Maybe the scorn is justified sometimes. Other times, maybe it's not. Either way, it seems Bellator will always need to go a mile farther if it wants to earn respect.
But that's not usually what they actually do. Instead, they respond to adversity with something of a Napoleon complex. Last fall, they had to pull their first pay-per-view off of pay-per-view because of an injury.
I understand the frustration over the prospect of doing that again. But Bellator has a good chance to be "the people's promotion," if you will. Level with us. Hey, fans, we want to do right by you. So we're never going to charge you pay-per-view fees when we don't feel we can offer pay-per-view quality. We'll put it on Spike TV instead. That's something the UFC can't offer.
But no. They bulled forward instead, determined to get into the PPV sandbox come hell or high water. Even if it meant diminishing themselves and jumping through flaming hoops to do so, leaving themselves weakened when they finally got to the actual metaphorical field of battle.
Execs this week came out and said Bellator's future does not hinge on this event alone. Fair enough. But that doesn't mean it's not important. I personally wouldn't step into this arena unless I knew I was bringing my A game. That's not what Bellator is doing, and I think that's a risky play. We'll see what happens.
Scott Harris writes about MMA and other things for Bleacher Report and other places. Follow Scott on Twitter if you feel so inclined.