Bellator is giving pay-per-view another shot.
The Associated Press reported on Monday that Bellator will hold the second pay-per-view event in its history on June 24 at Madison Square Garden in New York City.
Two fights were quickly announced for the show. Headlining will be the previously ill-fated matchup between Chael Sonnen and Wanderlei Silva. Sonnen and Silva had been matched up in the past in UFC but was moved back on multiple occasions and ultimately canceled after both men failed drug tests and were levied lengthy suspensions.
Sonnen and Silva famously got into an on-set brawl during the filming of “The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil.” Silva also posted a YouTube video with a message to Sonnen saying that he will make Sonnen “swallow his teeth,” among other threats.
Sonnen fought in January, losing by submission to Tito Ortiz in Ortiz’s retirement fight. Silva has not fought since a March 2013 knockout of Brian Stann. Both men will be 40 years old come fight night.
Also announced for the show was the second attempt at Fedor Emelianenko vs. Matt Mitrione. The two were scheduled to fight in February, but Mitrione was forced to pull out the day of the fight due to a kidney stone attack. Fedor had recently been rumored to be fighting a new opponent but the Mitrione fight was put together for what may be Bellator’s biggest card ever.
Bellator’s only other pay-per-view was the first fight between Quinton “Rampage” Jackson and “King Mo” Lawal at Bellator 120 in May of 2014. The show which also featured Tito Ortiz did about 100,000 buys according to MMAPayout.com, less than even the weakest of UFC pay-per-view cards.
Ticket information for the event, which will be Bellator 180, is not yet available.
Hiscoe’s Analysis: I commend Bellator for taking another shot at a pay-per-view, but I’m not sure that it will do much better than Bellator 120 did. Sonnen vs. Silva is an easy sell as there is a lot of animosity there, but is it really any bigger a fight that Sonnen vs. Ortiz was? I don’t really think so, and the genie is already out of the bottle with Sonnen, who put on a really disappointing performance against Ortiz.
I’m also not crazy about putting the Fedor vs. Mitrione fight on the pay-per-view. That fight was already promoted as a free TV fight to fans and to ticket buyers in San Jose. Now they are asking the same fans to pay for the fight a few months later. I understand that they feel they need to load up the card to make it pay-per-view-worthy, but I would have preferred they save that fight for TV, perhaps the show right before the pay-per-view to get a good audience in front of their sets to promote the show to.
I would expect and hope that Bellator puts at least one of their younger champions on the card to showcase them to the pay-per-view audience. Whether that’s Eduardo Dantas or Douglas Lima, they should choose someone to get the exposure of being on the show besides the former UFC stars at the top of the card.
TUESDAY NOTEBOOK ITEMS…
–Ryan Bader officially announced his signing with Bellator on Monday. There is already talk of a light heavyweight title fight with Phil Davis.
-Jonathan “War Machine” Koppenhaver was found guilty yesterday on 29 of 34 charges he was on trial for surrounding a beating of his former girlfriend and another man. The guilty verdicts were for sexual assault, battery, and kidnapping. Three charges received not guilty verdicts and two attempted murder charges could not be agreed upon by the jury. He is due for sentencing on June 5. (SOURCE)
-Derek Brunson vs. Dan Kelly is being targeted for the UFC Fight Night from Auckland, New Zealand on June 10 according to FloCombat.
NOW CHECK OUT YESTERDAY’S UPDATE: MONDAY NEWS DIGEST 3/20: Mark Hunt to face Derrick Lewis in UFC’s return to New Zealand in June (w/Hiscoe’s Analysis)
(MMATorch’s Daily News Digest features the top story of the day with added analysis, plus smaller tidbits in the News Notes section. Mike Hiscoe, who writes the News Digest Sundays through Thursdays, has a background in film criticism and previously wrote for the DVD Town and Movie Metropolis websites. His passion for Mixed Martial Arts goes back to 2005, but it was in the promotion for UFC 60: Hughes vs. Gracie that he really got hooked.”This is my house, I build it,” is still among the all-time great UFC promos. You can follow Mike on social media under the tag @mikehiscoe. He now provides his experienced writing and perspective on live MMA events for MMATorch.)