Disaster struck Bellator's inaugural pay-per-view for the second time in as many chances on Saturday, when a concussion forced lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez out of his anticipated trilogy bout against former titleholder Michael Chandler on one week's notice.
The situation cruelly mirrored Bellator's first attempt at committing to pay-per-view in late-2013, when Bellator 106 lost one-half of it's main event on eight days' notice due to a Tito Ortiz neck fracture. This time around though, Bellator officials elected to press forward and stage the pay-per-view regardless, bumping up Rampage Jackson vs. Muhammed Lawal to the main event while replacing Alvarez with lightweight tournament winner Will Brooks.
A significant majority of Bellator's marketing campaign revolved around the thrilling trilogy between Alvarez and Chandler, so the loss of Alvarez will be hard to stomach for the promotion. Though if there's someone who understands the volatility of last-second pay-per-view shake-ups, it's UFC President Dana White, who was asked for his thoughts on the subject at UFC Fight Night 40's post-fight scrum.
"That was the legit fight on the card. It's tough. It's tough losing that," White said, before taking aim at Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney for comments the Bellator chief recently made to the Latin Post, in which he placed blame on Zuffa for the continued ban on mixed martial arts in New York.
"It's one of those things," White said. "Those guys, I don't care about those guys. I don't see them as competition whatsoever. I see that Bjork (Bjorn Rebney) has been saying a lot of stupid s--t lately, he's in the press. He's screaming for attention. Screaming for attention. Talking about New York and the union and he's going to... what the f--k has he done to do anything in New York? What has that guy done to raise the bar in mixed martial arts whatsoever? He's done nothing. He's done completely zero. Zilch.
"So good luck to him on their pay-per-view."