HYDEN BLOG: Should Bellator do business with Logan Paul?

Frank Hyden MMATorch Columnist


There were no big MMA events this past week so I’ll just touch upon some news.

HYDEN BLOG: Should Bellator do business with Logan Paul?

YouTube star Logan Paul has said he’d like to fight in Bellator. He’s made similar comments in the past but nothing’s ever come from them. However, I think Bellator should consider this, so long as they do it the proper way.

What’s the proper way? For one, no way can that fight be the main event of a show. It can be second to last but it can’t be the main event, nor should it be the main part of the promotion for the event. The only exception would be if you did an entire event of these YouTuber celebrity fights, with guys like Mr. Beast, SomeBlackGuy, Dude Perfect and various other competing.

Yes, the very idea of some YouTube guy fighting on a major MMA show is kind of ridiculous, but it’s not without precedent. Bellator has had Ken Shamrock and Royce Gracie fight ten or fifteen years after they should have last fought. They’ve had Kimbo Slice and Dada 5000 fight. Just because stupid things have happened before doesn’t mean they need to happen again, but it’s all in how you do it.

If you build it up like it’s going to be some great fight or that it’s a high water mark for Bellator, you’re doing it wrong. If you present it like a trainwreck spectacle or pretty much build it like, “Hey, come watch Logan Paul get his ass kicked.” you might have something.

Having it be on cable television would also be the right step. If you’re dumb like the UFC and put fighters like CM Punk on pay-per-view that’s wrong. If you’re going to do these types of freak shows fights, you have to do them on free TV. You’re using these people for their name value, to try to bring more attention to your product. A pretty good amount of people would be willing to tune in to the TV one night to watch one of the Paul brothers get destroyed, almost no one would pay money to watch.

The UFC saw a possible increase in buyrate for UFC 203, the first PPV Punk fought on. It did about 450,000 buys. However, it should be noted that the current UFC Heavyweight Champion Stipe Miocic was defending his title against Alistair Overeem at that same event. So it’s hard to say exactly how many increased buys this show did because of Punk. The second time Punk fought was at UFC 225, which did about 250,000 buys, with the main event of current UFC Welterweight Champion Robert Whittaker defending against Yoel Romero, so whatever increase you saw for the first card was gone by the second, because Punk got whooped.

So it’s not worth it to put these spectacle fights on PPV. They’re not going to do much for you. Having them on cable, though, might provide a viewership bump and would surely provide a huge bump on social media. If you can use that to give the rub to some of your good fighters, that’s what you’re looking for. You’re looking to bring more attention to your best fighters by showing them to people who otherwise might not care or even know you exist. Now, it’s very possible that those same people go back to not caring about you, but you might convert a few of them.

I’m not saying that Bellator should do this but if they do, they should be really careful how they do it. Also, it’s Super Bowl week so there’s not a lot of MMA news and I really didn’t feel like writing about Conor McGregor again.

Comments and suggestions can be made to me at hydenfrank@gmail.com and you can follow me on Twitter at @hydenfrank

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1 Comment on HYDEN BLOG: Should Bellator do business with Logan Paul?

  1. Besides the fact that Logan Paul is a terrible human being and ANYONE should be ashamed to be involved with him, it’s also ridiculous to let him fight. You mention Kimbo Slive-Dada 5000, and that is a perfect example of why it shouldn’t happen. That was easily one of the worst fights in MMA history.

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