It wasn’t quite as bad as having to move a card off pay-per-view like they did last year. Or when the UFC was forced to cancel an entire PPV.
But Bellator 115 will go down in the record books as one that was hit by just about every means possible when it comes to ruining the workings of matchmakers.
First, Doug Marshall as denied his fight license, knocking him out of a planned middleweight tournament semifinal vs. Dan Cramer.
Bellator officials found a replacement, but that replacement fighter – Jeremy Kimball – failed to make weight even before the “official” weigh-ins went down on Thursday. The bout was cancelled and taken off the docket.
Did it end there? Of course, not.
Andrey Koreshkov and Sam Oropeza were expected to meet in a welterweight semifinal and the co-main event. Did one of them miss weight? Not technically.
Koreshkov came down with the flu and was not able to hit the scale, axing that fight.
Of the four planned Spike TV bouts for tonight’s card, only one will go on as scheduled: heavyweight champion Vitaly Minakov vs. Cheick Kongo.
So goes it when you are dealing with the world of MMA, I guess.
I’m not placing any of the blame on Bellator for these two fight cancellations, as they can’t control someone getting sick and they can’t be there step-by-step with the fighters while cutting weight; that’s on the fighter himself – or herself.
But maybe loading up on tournament after tournament after tournament is taking a toll. Sure, it’s cool to see who could match up next if Fighter A beats Fighter B, but wouldn’t it just be better for fans, ratings, network executives, matchmakers and media if we could just move someone right along into either a title match or No. 1 contender bout?
Will Bellator do that anytime soon? Highly unlikely, as they have made tournament-style matchmaking their calling card. But maybe all of these recent run-ins with putting events together might be giving them second-thoughts.