Bellator 120: Michael Chandler to Battle Will Brooks for Interim Title, Latter Blasts Critics Who Question Card’s PPV Worth
By Kelsey Mowatt
Although Bellator’s May 17th event has lost its highly anticipated, rubber match between lightweight champ Eddie Alvarez and Michael Chandler, the card will remain a pay-per-view. The promotion confirmed the news during a media call on Saturday, which also saw Will Brooks and Bjorn Rebney fire some choice words for those who are criticizing the decision.
Recently, it was revealed that Alvarez has withdrawn from Bellator 120, due to a concussion he incurred while training last week. During the call, the promotion’s CEO Rebney confirmed that the injury occurred when Alvarez hit his head on a training partner’s hip. All of the parties involved were hopeful that the champ would be ready to go by the 17th, however, on Saturday, the decision was reportedly made to cancel the bout.
As a result, Brooks has been moved from his scheduled bout with Nate Jolly, and he will now face Chandler for an interim lightweight belt. Rebney also added that due to the nature of Alvarez’s injury, there is no set timeline for the fighter’s return.
At one juncture of the call, Rebney was predictably asked why the promotion has elected to keep the main card a PPV, and whether the price point will change as a result of losing Alvarez-Chandler III. The CEO quickly responded:
“No, it’s remaining on pay-per-view because it’s PPV worthy,” said Rebney, “It’s a must see card. It’s got Quinton Jackson coming back after having two, first round knockouts, and looking like Quinton “Rampage” of old, and he’s got “King Mo” in a must win fight, having the best training camp he’s ever had at American Top Team.”
“We’ve got the (Alexander) Shlemenko-Tito (Ortiz) fight; we’ve got Mike Chandler and Will Brooks, who are, different people are going to come up with different lists, but you’re talking about two of the best lightweights we’ve got in the game today…” added Rebney. “It’s got all the pieces. It’s a premium event; it’s a must see event, it’s going to remain on pay-per-view. There was never a question or a hesitation to keep this level of an event on pay-per-view.”
Of course, last November, Bellator faced similar circumstances. Not long before the promotion was set to make its PPV at Bellator 106, the aforementioned Ortiz was forced to drop out of a bout with Jackson. As a result, Bellator and its parent company Viacom decided to move the card to SPIKE, and fans were treated to the thrilling Alvarez-Chandler II bout for free.
“I’m getting kind of annoyed with people asking this question, why not the price change, why the pay-per-view?” Brooks added after Rebney finished responding. “I personally think you’re a fool if you ask that question. Just because if you think about it, what is the UFC doing with all of its pay-per-views? They’re charging you boatloads of money for what is it? Fifty some bucks, sixty something bucks for a pay-per-view…a lot of times recently, we’ve been getting these pay-per-view cards that are a little bit watered down, and they’re not as a good as they’re supposed to be.”
“Really, all people are doing is, when they ask these questions, is it makes you sound like a cheap ass,” a fired up Brooks continued. “You’re devaluing the fighters and the organizations. So then I start asking the question why do you even watch the free events? If you have such a problem with the card and the fighters and the card, then why do you even pay attention? Why do you do this job or be a fan…It’s a simple thing, if you watch, you watch, if you don’t watch you’re a damn fool.”
To that, Rebney then noted that he’s in “100%” agreement with the rising fighter, who has gone 5-1 with Bellator to date.
Rebney also announced that the heavyweight tourney final between Alexander Volkov and Blagoi Ivanov has been moved to the PPV card, which is expected to retail from about $30 to $45 (depending on the provider).
Next Saturday’s event will be hosted by the Landers Center in Southaven, Mississippi.