The Bellator pay-per-view. A mythical beast, rumored to be making an appearance on May 17, and believed to be featuring a roster of some of the organization’s best. But the notion of such a pay-per-view has been spoken of before – last November, to be exact – and yet, like the Loch Ness Monster, the Bellator PPV remained hidden, out of sight. Will it happen this time? Will the creature of legend break the surface of the murky waters of cable television and rear its magnificent head?
Who knows. But if it does materialize, here are five good reasons to tune in.
- Eddie Alvarez – Never mind the fact that Alvarez’s first two battles with Michael Chandler were the epitome of “epic”, and that their rubber match, which is headlining the pay-per-view, is destined to be just as great. What’s most intriguing is that Alvarez is almost halfway out the door and in the UFC, which means if he defeats Chandler via razor-thin decision or loses via razor-thin decision, we’ll most likely see homeboy in the Octagon the next time he fights. And that’s a big deal, because of all the non-UFC lightweights walking the Earth, Alvarez is the one who could wallop the most UFC lightweights.
- Michael Chandler – If Alvarez is the best non-UFC 155 pounder, then Chandler is the second best. What does that mean long term? It means that if and when Alvarez is off to greener pastures, Chandler will be ruling the Bellator roost for a long time – making him one of the most relevant fighters on the Bellator PPV card.
- Quinton “Rampage” Jackson – A fun game to play when you watch UFC veterans compete after their time in the UFC is done is “How long will this dude last?” As the name implies, the game is all about the longevity of fighters whose Octagon expiration date has passed, and seeing what kind of damage they can inflict – to themselves and others – before Father Time finally pulls the plug on the whole endeavor. Recently, we saw Vladimir Matyushenko reach the end. Is the aged Rampage soon to follow?
- Alexander Shlemenko – He’s talented, he’s dangerous, but most of all, Shlemenko is Bellator’s middleweight king, so of course he’s going to fight a light-heavyweight Tito Ortiz on the pay-per-view! Honestly, the common fan tuning in to this fight is probably watching due to some name-value Ortiz might still command, but you – the true MMA fan – will be tuning in because you know Shlemenko is a killer, and therefore, violence. Hooray for violence!
- Michael Page – The UFC had (HAD) Anderson Silva as their resident super-elite striker. Who does Bellator have? It’s possible that role is to be play by Page, who scored a ten-second knockout in his first and only Bellator appearance, but brings with him a reputation as a fearsome and creative pugilist. And that’s always fun to watch, am I right?