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Viacom, Bellator PPV debut delivers some bizarrely intriguing moments with a yo-yo consistency

By Zach Arnold | May 17, 2014

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First, a run-down of the main fight results from the card:

Onto some thoughts from the show:

1. Very rough pacing of fights for the first 90 minutes. They went over the 3 hour time window.

2. Why did Bellator run the show on MS soil rather than Tennessee soil where: a) there’s no state income tax; b) Jeff Mullen and company are quality regulators? Who knows.

3. Frank Shamrock has natural charisma. Just not as an interviewer.

4. Interesting to see how many people on social media are celebrating the “demise” of Alexander Shlemenko & Michael Chandler. They’re also mocking Bjorn Rebney and Bellator. Long term damages, perhaps, but Tito Ortiz winning is very valuable for the Viacom suits. When I wrote my Sherdog article on how people treat Tito Ortiz as a punchline, the point of the article was to note that a lot of the criticism leveled against him was overly harsh. His career trajectory was the same as Chuck Liddell after their second match but Tito, like Chuck, wasn’t afraid to fight tough guys and embarrass himself in the process. Chuck’s celebrated for delivering punchlines while fans took glee in treating Tito as a punchline.

Don’t believe me when I say people think of Tito as a chicken and a punchline? Even Bjorn Rebney thought Tito would back out of the Shlemenko fight.

The win over Shlemenko sets up Tito vs. Rampage and that’s what the Viacom suits wanted to happen on PPV in the first place. Unless they play off the Mississippi score-cards and do Mo/Rampage (again).

5. The Bellator PPV did well in terms of social media traffic, snark and all.

6. Bjorn Rebney said he didn’t know attendance and live gate figures for the event. He also defended the score cards of the Mississippi judges. The announced attendance at the Inglewood Forum for Juan Manuel Marquez vs. Mike Alvarado was 12,090.

Topics: Bellator, Media, MMA, Zach Arnold | 18 Comments » | Permalink | Trackback |

18 Responses to “Viacom, Bellator PPV debut delivers some bizarrely intriguing moments with a yo-yo consistency”

  1. rst says:

    Although I kinda wanted Mo to win, Jackson can beat the best when he wants to. Jackson might be a beatable flake half the time but I think he had his mind made up for this one.

    Wow, tito is annoying. What did he say? I like to inspire people to be inspired? Before mentioning his favorite injuries and doing that ridiculous grave digger thing. And the pledge of the allegiance kids with athletic punishment beanies (groan!). I kind of had a feeling that Russian guy was over estimating himself a bit.

    But there was excitement in the house. It seemed like a lesser UFC card which is a good step in the right direction for Bellator.

    • Diaz's cashed bowl says:

      I give it a thumbs up overall.
      Positives… no commercial breaks, surprising results…. underdogs day for sure. Good fights by Kongo Held Venom Volkov and Brooks. Good use of the rare F bomb, nice blow out after that nutty Mo page decision.

      Negatives more surprising judges decisions. Bad overall flow with too much padding repeating the same promos. it needed another fight or 2 to tighten it up. And some back stage post fight interviews are always good.
      Not enough guest stars, that I could see anyway. Was Alvarez even in attendance?
      Same stale commentators, where was Warren? He should have been in the booth along with Shammy and couture.

  2. Chris says:

    Wacky pay per view with. Even with the questionable judging for the co-main events, I was entertained.

  3. 45 Huddle says:

    People actually ordered this thing? That wasn’t worth $25.

    Alvarez/Chandler 3 might happen because Alvarez has it in his contract that he is obligated to fight Chandler. What kind of MMA contract specifies who somebody is going to fight for each fight? Some bad behind the scenes stuff.

    They really threw Shlemenko under the bus. He is the size of a Welterweight and they had him fight a big Light Heavyweight. That matchmaking basically said they don’t care about their champions they just want any sort of attention from their fans. Short sighted.

    • Tomer says:

      They had Christian M’Pumbu fight (and lose a one sided decision) against Travis Wiuff in a non-title fight while he was LHW champion, so this really par for course.

  4. J. B. says:

    I think it was worth the money. They did go over board with timing. Casual fan has to womder why three round main event was scheduled and why five rd semi main event was booked that way.

    Jackson and mo fight was bad. Mo was playing the safe and sorry role. Takedowns and lack of effort for finishing was his issue. Jackson had to be nervous during the decision. Mo wanted no piece of stand up with Jackson. Mo lawal was pretty unprofessional at the end of the fight. But he did have a right to be mad I guess. Next time Mo will learn to actually be aggressive instead of laying on top of his opponent. I wonder if Bjorn is going to take action against Mo.

    Brooks and Chandler fight was good. I am guessing judges went by damage versus takedowns. It could have went either way.

    Michael page…..people on mmafighting and bloody elbow talk about page being arrogant and showboater. But this is his fighting style. Even in kickboxing he performs this way. If he gets knocked out, sure he will put his guard up. But who has not been arrogant in mms these days?

  5. 45 Huddle says:

    According to FrontRowBrian….

    1,600 tickets were sold for a gate of $127,000… This was the day before. So even if they got a quick bump, I can’t imagine the gate being over $150,000…. Which is insanely bad for them having so much of their “star power” on one card.

    I would be shocked if this event did 50,000.

    My guess is it does 25,000 to 30,000….

    • 45 Huddle says:

      And if you do the math on 25,000 PPV Buys and a $150,000 gate…. At most they got $650,000 in revenues for the event.

      There is no way that covers the cost of Ortiz, Rampage, Chandler, and the rest of the fighters and production costs.

      This event lost money for Viacom.

      Not good….

      • edub says:

        According to a couple sources at DirecTV and Verizon its trending above 50k. I’m not sure how in the world its possible, but if thats the case it is a success for everything that happened.

        • 45 Huddle says:

          Having a weekly show on a major cable station to promote a PPV. Then going out and buying some expensive high priced free agents. And then using the majority of your talent in order to sell the PPV. If it does under 100,000 PPV’s it is not s success.

          I could see it doing over 50,000 for the newness factor alone. I think TNA had some decent PPV Buys (for TNA standards) due to this factor. But once things settled in, they have a hard time breaking 20,000 when they go to PPV now.

          I just don’t see where the end game is here? Bad ratings on Friday Nights? PPV’s that are always at risk of being cancelled or having bad buy rates? There just doesn’t seem like a happy ending for Bellator at this point.

        • edub says:

          IF it does over 50k it makes money. Which means its a success considering it lost its A/B side of the main event a little over a week before the event.

          I don’t really care about their future afterwards (well, more I don’t care enough to analyze everything for what could happen). I just see it as a small success if it does over 50 considering everything that happened.

          Where they go from there I’m not sure at all.

    • Zach Arnold says:

      Do you have the links to the Tweets with the info?

      Bellator has never been a very good live gate product outside of a couple of So. Cal shows and the Mohegan Sun events which have been successes.

  6. 45 Huddle says:

    I’m not sure about how true this is…. But it would be awesome.

    Somebody on The UG said that Rebney’s contract is up at the end of this month. And then they said something about Coker taking his place.

    Imagine that. I would love it. Coker is a good guy. And imagine him with the money backing of SpikeTV? It would be a great fit. He could certainly make a run at turning things around. I just can’t support a Rebney run Bellator. I could certainly support a Coker run Bellator.

    Strikeforce 3.0????

    • J. B. says:

      Since when did you think Coker was a good guy. You use to be the fella that crapped on anything that wasn’t UFC. That is a nice stigma to have placed on ya, huh?

      • Bryan says:

        If I remember, 45 would slag Stikeforce’s matchmaking/business decisions, but was always complimentary of Scott Coker as a person.

        • 45 Huddle says:


          I would laugh at the people who said they weren’t in financial trouble. All of the signs pointed to it. Especially the way Coker did his matchmaking. The biggest hint was when he didn’t eve put the entire 1st round of the Heavyweight Tourhament on the same card. It was obvious that they couldn’t afford to do so and were probably cutting too many corners to make things work.

          History showed this to be true as their parent company soon sold Strikeforce.

          Coker himself seems like a good guy. I wasn’t a huge fan when he tried to trash talk the UFC because it seemed so out of character for him.

          But imagine a Bellator with Coker running in? Things could get much better.

        • nottheface says:

          Strikeforce did not sell because they were in financial trouble.

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