I have been trying to be less critical of Bellator FC as they head into season 6 firmly entrenched as the number 2 MMA promotion in the United States, but they really are still a rinky dink operation. The build up and weigh ins for the Bellator 62 card, scheduled for tonite in Laredo, TX really shows how long Bellator has to go before they have anything close to what the UFC has. The biggest negative is that the long overdue Final of the season 5 heavyweight tournament had to be scrapped because Thiago Santos, the odds on favorite to take the title, was roughly 12 pounds overweight.
The lines are still there for the Lightweight tournament that kicks off today, and there are several potentially good fights – check out the lines here: http://www.betdsi.com/live-lines/martial-arts/mma-bellator.
But let’s be straight about the state of the Heavyweight division in Bellator – it sucks big time! Champion Cole Konrad hasn’t fought since August of last year, and they really have no opponent established for him. The idea was that the winner of the match between Santos and Prindle would be the number one contender, now that is out the window.
They could move Prindle into the title match with a type of bye, but that would just illustrate the weakness of the division. After Prindle’s first encounter with Santos ended in a No Contest, many people thought Prindle quit. He almost pulled out of this match several times, and there are a lot of people talking that Prindle does not want any part of Santos. Not exactly the type of fighter you want in a title bout!
With respect to Cole Konrad, who has a respectable 8-0 record, the world is not alight with a burning desire to see him fight again.
What Bellator needs to do is take a page out of the UFC’s book, and shut down the division for a few years, just like Dana White did with the Lightweight division in the Jens Pulver era. Put it on ice for a few years, and then look for talent, recognize what you have is not working.
Here is a suggestion for Prindle, Santos and even Conrad. As your driving home from Laredo, Texas and the Bellator 62 show, all three should stop at one of the rest areas in the good old USA.
Every American is familiar with the rest areas, there might be Roy Rogers, TCBY, KFC, Cinnabun, Starbucks, Burger King – all in one rest area.
You get the three tubs of goo Bellator calls heavyweights in a rest area battling for position in line at all those yummy food joints, and you may actually get to see them fight.