Bellator, the world’s second largest MMA company, has caught a streak of bad luck that is really putting a dark cloud over their Season 9 events. The fact is that they have failed to deliver many of the fighters they have advertised, and they do not have the roster in place to withstand the attrition. The result is another drab season of Bellator as we head into their big pay per view scheduled for November. Additionally, the cross promotion on Impact Wrestling has been woeful, with Tito Ortiz and Quinton Jackson both appearing in the scripts and looking uncomfortable.
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Take this past weekend’s Bellator 98 card. The card was supposed to feature the return of Joe Warren, the world champion wrestler who has been fighting in Bellator and owns an 8-3 record.
Bellator slotted Warren as a coach on their ‘Fightmaster’ reality series, which from the start was a bad idea. Warren is still learning MMA and is not really qualified to be a teacher, and he certainly is no master. Sure Warren is easily the best technical wrestler on the show, but how would you feel if your coach’s submission and striking skills are not even on par with average MMA fighters? The return of Warren was a risky investment for Bellator, as he could well fall flat on his face when he fights.
Last week, Warren was pulled form the card for ‘medical reasons’ though what they are remain unclear. A possibly unrelated side note is that Warren cannot wrestle competitively internationally due to a positive test for marijuana.
Speaking of potheads, discarded UFC fighter Matt Riddle, possibly one of the favorites for Bellator’s welterweight tournament scheduled for September 20th at Bellator 100, has retired from MMA after an injury and has pulled out of the tournament.
Also pulling out of tournaments for various reasons were Shahbulat Shamhalaev and Rob Sinclair, both of whom were replaced by retreads in their respective tournaments.
And have you seen Tito Ortiz and Quinton Jackson on TnA Wrestling? It is embarrassing, and though I have not seen all the segments, they appear to not even give Ortiz time on the mike, because he must be awful. So all he does is get to stand around looking tough. Jackson has had mike time, but the energy level and delivery required for pro wrestling are not there. The plot line involves the two men joining rival factions, and they beat on each other on TV weekly. IT is bad wrstling, bad TV, and bad publicity, because they are showing nothing that people are going to actually pay for come November.