UFC President Dana White likes to win. His goal, publicly stated, isn't just to be a successful mixed martial arts promoter. It's becoming a global force in the sports. "World f*cking domination," as he puts it. Nothing more, nothing less.
That drive has helped White to demolish the competition over the years. He, famously, used to keep a faux tombstone in his office. Every time a rival promotion died, a name was added to the dearly departed. Those who didn't go out of business because of their own stupidity, the UFC gleefully purchased, adding toys to a toy box already brimming with great martial artists.
No rival has withstood the rigors of MMA promotion for long. Successful boxing promoters, comic book entrepreneurs and online gambling provocateurs have all attempted to run a Pepsi to UFC's Coke. All have failed dramatically.
All but Bellator.
Now under new management, Viacom's little promotion that could is approaching its sixth year in the MMA business. With former Strikeforce boss Scott Coker leading the way, expectations are sky high. Bellator isn't a rival for the UFC yet—but if anyone can give White and company a run for their money over time, it's Coker.
That's what makes Friday's dueling fight shows on Spike and Fox Sports 1 so compelling. Separated by just 15 minutes, the two promotions both enter Connecticut with something to prove. Bellator is trying to show the world it is a show worth paying attention to. The UFC, meanwhile, wants to show that it can, when properly motivated, still put on one heck of a fight card.
The result is a gold mine for MMA fans. But which show is better? Though the best fights don't overlap, most fans will likely choose one or the other to watch live. Along with fellow lead MMA writer Chad Dundas, we'll look at each promotion's main card offering, judging them head-to-head based on their fight card position.
Will Bellator, with featherweight standout Pat Curran and pro wrestling star Bobby Lashley, lead the way? Or will the depth of UFC's offering carry the day? Chad and I render our verdicts. You can have your say in the comments.