I have watched most if not all the Bellator events of the past few years. Needless to say, the first PPV event from Bellator was a crowning achievement of sorts for the organization.
It has become quite clear that Bellator would like to be more like the UFC. Not only in success, but also in method. Makes sense. Excellence and success can show a path for others to the same promised land. Bellator has had various talent over the years, but when champions like Ben Askren aren't welcomed to the UFC, one has to wonder. Do these organizations despise each other to the extent that they won't use clear judgement when it comes to scooping up released fighters? There are exceptions of course, but certainly UFC fighters rarely end up in Bellator and vice versa. The UFC has often scoffed at Bellator being in the same league as them, but having Viacom in the mix is certainly worth taking note of. Nothing made Bjorn Rebney more jolly than announcing their TV deal with Fox Sports Latin America. These guys love getting digs in with each other whenever possible. Sometimes subtle, sometimes not so subtle.
Things I like from Bellator?
- it's always the fighters first according to Bjorn Rebney. A clear shot at Dana White, but more spotlight for the fights can't hurt. That said, is there anything the UFC is doing wrong when they have become the success they are? Hard to criticize.
- they have started to air the post fight press conferences.
- we saw the first ever Bjorn Rebney post press conference scrum and that's a step in the right direction.
- they have events every week and you get to know the fighters.
- they have quality fighters including heavy weights which for me, are a real joy to watch no matter if they are name guys or not.
- every fighter in the post fight press conference has an opportunity to speak before they take questions from reporters.
- they have a great broadcast team even though I could do without hearing the word "sticky".
- they are cloning some of the UFC machine.
Things Bellator need to do better?
- get Bjorn a freaking podium for the post fight press conference. Let's get professional here. I get the reason for sitting among the fighters but this is bush league.
- they should sign more ex UFC fighters or at least fighters who didn't come out of The Ultimate Fighter show and onto the UFC roster.
- look at fixing the issue of slippery canvas.
I'm curious to know what you guys think Bellator needs to do better at or what you enjoy in particular. I think as long as they keep progressing towards being more like the UFC, the more success they are going to have.