First they gave us Tito Ortiz versus Stephan Bonnar, then they upped the juice and gave is Kimbo Slice against Ken Shamrock. Now, on Saturday, Bellator is doing it again, this time with a one-night, four-man tournament that will determine who gets to fight the light-heavyweight champ next. While the UFC is having one of its best years ever in terms of pay-per-view sales, the Scott Coker-run number two organization in the world is being its usual creative self to earn eyeballs – and Saturday night is either going to be awesome or awful because of it.
Here’s Ben Fowlkes on the matter:
As for the tournament? I’m torn here, Danny. The logical part of me is over here looking at the four-man tournament, thinking back to past attempts at making something like this work, and wondering why we refuse to learn our lesson with these MMA relics.
Then there’s the other part of me that hears words like “single-night light heavyweight tournament,” combined with names like Muhammad Lawal, Phil Davis, and the big homie Emanuel Newton, and all I can think is how delightfully weird and surprisingly fun this is bound to be.
In theory, I’d say I’m against single-night tournaments. There are just so many ways for them to go wrong (or prove especially dangerous), and so few ways for them to go right. Plus, when you use it to determine something like a title shot, how can you be sure that you ended up with the best fighter and not just the luckiest one?
That’s why, if the UFC tried this as a way of determining the top contender in the 205-pound class, I’d probably be first in line to point out why it’s such a bad idea. But when Bellator does it? I mean, I get it. It takes something special for MMA’s no. 2 promotion to become appointment viewing for the masses. And this? I think it qualifies, does it not?
Usually, I watch Bellator events on DVR so I can fast-forward through the sucky parts, but this… this is something I have to see live, commercials and all. It is for sure must-see TV.
Does the tournament format make you want to tune in?