Full Contact Fighter’s “The Daily Takedown”: Ratings May Not Show It Yet, But Bellator Is Moving In The Right Direction
By Joshua Molina
Bellator’s re-signing of Eddie Alvarez is a smart move and one that shows everybody who’s paying attention that the upstart MMA company isn’t going away.
Alvarez was on his way to the UFC, but Bellator was able to come close enough to matching UFC’s deal. Coupled with the fact that Alvarez did not want to engage in an even longer layoff from the sport, Bellator and the one of the greatest lightweights in the world were able to reach a deal.
For whatever his motivation, Alvarez is smart to go back to Bellator. He can be a bigger star in Bellator and whey guys of his stature choose Bellator over the UFC, it empowers other fighters to think that they too can have a career outside of the biggest MMA company in the world.
Bellator is slowly building up a roster of talent and names that is making fans take notice. Guys like Ben Askren, Michael Chandler, Alvarez and now Quinton “Rampage” Jackson and Tito Ortiz show that Bellator is a company that is setting down roots.
When building a business, it’s all about building a brand. Bellator, fortunately with financial backing of Viacom, is building a brand, one that will pay off in the ratings and pay-per -view buy rate numbers down the road.
Bellator should consider trimming its unnecessary fat and going after big-name stars. What would happen if Bellator signed Mike Tyson in an ambassador role? What about Evander Holyfied? Can Bellator work with Fedor Emelianenko‘s management company?
The 20-something men who helped fuel UFC’s big boom nearly a decade ago are getting older and more responsible and have less resources for UFC PPVs. Now is the time for MMA companies to build a new audience, re-invent itself and capture another generation of fans. Just because the UFC did it first, doesn’t mean that Bellator can’t also do it this time.
Bellator is in a good place, even if it’s not totally obvious yet.