Bellator MMA has grown significantly since the birth of their company. Scott Coker has done an amazing job competing with the number one MMA promotion in the United States, the UFC. He beat the UFC by being the first of the two promotions to put on a show in Hawaii. While also reviving the careers of fighters such as Fedor Emelianenko, Ryan Bader, and Cris Cyborg. That being said they still stand as the second-biggest MMA promotion in the states. Today we will discuss some things that Bellator can do to try and overtake that position from the UFC.
One of the main reasons the UFC is enjoyable to watch is because they have taken an NCAA style ranking system. Ranking the best fighters in each division between one and fifteen. Although they are not without flaw, they do work well, especially for casual fans. Bellator currently doesn’t have any kind of ranking system, which makes the fans assume that most matchups are completely random. With a ranking system in play, it would give a lot more clarity as to why Bellator is making the fights they are making. For example, since Michael Venom Page lost to Douglas Lima it has become an issue that fans believe he is being fed “cans” to try and pad his record. This could easily be avoided if Bellator ranked these “cans” in order from 1-15. It also helps the fans get involved. Fans would be able to better predict a fighter’s next fight, leading to more hype around said fight.
Better Bellator Contracts
Now, this isn’t talking about the amount of money they pay their fighters, because we all know that MMA doesn’t normally pay well, even in the UFC. This is referring to the fact that Bellator, like other regional promotions, still often sign fighters to one fight deals. While this does have certain benefits, it also fills most Bellator undercards with random regional names. Bellator would benefit significantly by recruiting certain talent and signing them to multi-fight deals. This way fans can become familiar with fighters and follow their careers under the Bellator banner.
One of the biggest reasons the UFC blew up the way it did was because of their reality television show, The Ultimate Fighter. The UFC has continued to do spin-offs of the show such as Dana White’s Contender Series and Dana White’s Looking For A Fight.
These shows do two things for the UFC. Firstly, it reaches out to a bigger audience than just combat sports fans. Secondly, it does a great job of recruiting the best non-signed fighters in the world. Reality television would also play a big part in fans getting to know fighters before they even step foot in the Bellator cage.
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