On November 30th, Bellator 82 goes down at the Soaring Eagle Casino in Mt Pleasant, Michigan. The largely nondescript card is headlined by Bellator’s season 7 Welterweight tournament final as Lyman Good takes on Andrey Koreshkov. Also returning is Alexander Sarnavskiy, who dropped to 20-1 overall by losing to Rich Clementi at Bellator 77. Sarnavskiy gets journeyman Tony ‘Lionheart’ Hervey as Bellator opts to bring in lesser talent from the area in trying to right Sanavskiy’s ship – wooowooo for that TV contract in Russia!
Good and Koreshkov is a good solid fight, one where both men have been tested by solid competition in getting to the finals. Good is a former Bellator champion, but Koreshkov is a young talent who at 12-0 may come in favored in this fight.
Hervey is a tough kid, with nearly 30 pro fights, but he is 15-12 and has not been able to break through against bigger talent in his career. Hervey will be a heavy underdog against Sanavskiy. The conspicuous lack of name recognition on the card is indicative of almost Bellator’s entire season 7, and it leaves a lot of open questions as to how they are going to transition onto SPIKETV and a wider audience. They have no plan it seems.
The ratings have been consistently low, and the few stars that have fought, such as Eddie Alvarez, have not really helped Bellator’s cause as far as pulling in viewers.
President Bjorn Rebney is promising a big splash with the Bellator Reality show, but what really are they going to be able to do?
Take for instance their much bally-hooed signing of ‘King’ Mo Lawal. Bellator likely used their contacts on SPIKETV to leverage a contract with TnA Wrestling as well. TnA cannot be pleased with Mo’s appearances, which appeared awkward and did not get him over with the audience. He has not appeared in TnA since.
If ‘King’ Mo is part of the talent on the new reality series as a coach, leader or frontline talent, then it is ridiculous for Bellator to say that the series will be the most talent laden MMA show to air. Based on company track record, that won’t be the case.
Bellator 83, and Bellator 84 close out the season 7 run, and the tournament finals in the featherweight, heavyweight and lightweight are on tap for the final two events.
Then we will see if this company, which has shown legs, and promise at times, gets the creative influx needed to shine for the SPIKETV audience.