Eddie Alvarez‘s rubber match with Michael Chandler is off, and suddenly the cost/benefit analysis that enabled us to calculate the value of Bellator’s pay-per-view event on Saturday and deem it worthy of our cash is now a broken equation. For sure it was a sound investment on violence when the event was going to be headlined by Alvarez and Chandler killing each other for a third time. But now? Now we don’t have that bout at the far end of the card, a tasty, dangling carrot of clobbering that would’ve justified all the match-ups preceding.
So we must crunch the data of the scheduled fights once more, reflecting upon what we will and won”t see. Is Bellator’s PPV worth watching without Alvarez in the mix? Let’s see.
- Rampage Jackson vs. King Mo – The heat generated from this grudge match is so intense you could probably melt… nothing. You could melt nothing because there is no legitimate heat between these guys. The only reason Rampage and King Mo are playing it off like they’ve always hated each other is probably something along the lines of “Hey Mo, I want to get some new rims for my truck. Since we’re getting percentages of the pay-per-view as part of our payment, can we hype this thing?” “Sure, Rampage. Sure. You got it.” As a former UFC champ and former Strikeforce champ, these men have done a lot in the sport. But their days of putting on thrilling fights are long gone. Watch this bout if you hate yourself.
- Michael Chandler vs. Will Brooks – There’s only one person on the Bellator lightweight roster who can defeat Chandler, and his name isn’t “Will Brooks”. That said, Brooks is a tough and promising kid who could almost anyone a run for their money. He’s just going to get slaughtered by Chandler, though. Watch this bout if you’ve ever Googled the words “snuff film”.
- Tito Ortiz vs. Alexander Shlemenko – This pairing is akin to something we’d see in PRIDE FC’s heyday. Which is to say, a bigger guy taking on a smaller guy in some kind of masochistic fantasy where size disparities equal blood spilled. What’s unique about this shindig however is that the smaller guy – champ Shlemenko – is a killer and the bigger guy is a washed-up UFC refugee who should have stayed retired. Watch this fight if you like bouts that eschew the trappings of weight classes.
- Michael Page vs. Rick Rainey – As stated previously, Page is Bellator’s version of Anderson Silva and should likely be fun to watch provided his opponent doesn’t play the role of Chris Weidman. I don’t see Rainey successfully pulling off that imitation though, so this bout should be delicious popcorn on the tongue of the discerning fan of violence. Watch this bout because you trust that Page is going to shine against a scrub.
- Blagoi Ivanov vs. Alexander Volkov – Welcome to M-1: Global, where the best fighters in the former USSR compete for food vouchers and the extra rations of vodka. Watch this bout and pretend that they’re Fedor.
And there you have it. This is what the night holds for all who shell out the dough. Is it worth it? Only you can decide.