Epic Fail: 3 Reasons Bellator Will Collapse in 2011
Earlier this past week, it was announced that Bellator Fighting Championships will be airing their live fights on Saturday nights beginning March 5th.
Now if you're a knowledgeable MMA fan, you already know that this is virtually a fatal move on the part of the three-year-old promotion, which has been trying to gain ground in an already crowded landscape.
For those of you who only casually follow the sport, Bleacher Report takes a look at a few key reasons why this is a misstep of potentially fatal proportions.
No. 1: Crowded Time Slot
Saturday night already has the two top promotions in the sport of mixed martial arts occupying its spot. From the Strikeforce side, they actually have less to worry about since their only offerings are either on Showtime or CBS, and not necessarily every month.
However, the UFC is a completely different story. With the recent acquisition of the WEC's roster, the top organization for MMA in the world is just bursting at the seams with talent and looking for a number of different ways to showcase it.
With their Fight Nights on Spike, the UFC on Versus, UFC Prelims, Best of Pride, UFC Unleashed, The Ultimate Fighter and of course the pay-per-views, the UFC has a huge leg up on all contenders to the throne.
It just doesn't make any logical sense for Bellator to air its programming on such a saturated night.
No. 2: Lack of Franchise Fighters
Outside of Eddie Alvarez and street fight avenger Roger Huerta, who else can you think of on the Bellator roster that actually matters to fans?
That is exactly the point. This Saturday night move is much too risky without anyone of significant marketability to place at the forefront.
No. 3: Poor Media Partner in MTV2
When it was initially announced that Bellator would be moving from FSN to MTV2, the move was met with a largely lukewarm reception from MMA fans.
Honestly, MTV2, which gears its programming towards teens to early 20 somethings, might not be the best place to try to gain an interest in a fledgling MMA promotion.
It would have been more ideal to have a more stylized production from the likes of FX, where they could have possibly done some cross-promotion with its current string of hit dramas like the boxing-themed Lights Out or Justified.
RIP Bellator, Because You're Officially on Life Support
The lack of a key name to market your promotion, a slightly complicated tournament format and intentionally injecting yourself into an evening where potentially nobody will watch your fighters is a recipe for disaster.
Don't be too surprised if you see these markings on Dana White's MMA promotional tombstone:
Bellator Fighting Championships: 2008 - 2011