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Bellator tweaks timeslot, not tournaments

Good news for those of you who wouldn’t mind watching Bellator Fighting Championships if it wasn’t playing at THE EXACT SAME TIME THE UFC:

Bellator Fighting Championships will shift its live events to Friday starting 2012 with its sixth season, CEO Bjorn Rebney told USA TODAY. Instead of going head-to-head with major shows from industry leader Zuffa’s Ultimate Fighting Championship brand, Bellator will try its hand against smaller-scale events and UFC’s reality show, The Ultimate Fighter.

It will also be trying it’s hand against Friday night, better known as the graveyard slot for all the shows which moved there and died a lonely unwatched death. I’m worried enough to see how The Ultimate Fighter fares there, let alone Bellator. In the end, Friday is the second worst slot the fledgling promotion could choose, after Saturday which they are now abandoning. Maybe another season or two and they’ll smarten up and nab Thursday night.

Another problem with Bellator: they’re turning their tournament format into a lodestone around their neck because they refuse to be flexible about how they set up fights. Here’s Bellator boss daddy Bjorn Rebney explaining why:

“That’s one of the most positive things about Bellator,” Rebney said. “If you’re a huge Miami Heat fan, the NBA offices don’t tell you that we’ll just put the Mavs and the Heat in the NBA finals. If the Heat wants to be NBA champions, they have to win enough in the regular season to make the playoffs, go through the playoffs and then win the championship. As much as a fan would love to see the Heat play the Mavs for the championship, it’s not going to happen automatically.”

But the Heat and the Mavs do play a few times every regular season so it’s really not the same at all. No one really gives a shit about Bellator’s championships, they’re just sick of the best guys in the league sitting around holding their dicks all the time. As if them being stuck outside the UFC wasn’t bad enough.

From day one, Rebney has held fast to his tournament format, and has made it emphatically clear that as long as he’s running the company, that formula won’t be compromised. When his light heavyweight champion, Christian M’Pumbu, lost a non-title match on Oct. 22 to Travis Wiuff, all that did was guarantee Wiuff a spot in an upcoming tournament, should he choose to take it. Even with a win against the champion, he still needs to win three more fights before getting a title shot.

Yeah why improve when the current format is the perfect, unalterable Word of Bjorn? There will be no compromise! Except the lame compromise where champs have non-title fights against randos! Where exciting guys who get bounced out of a tournament are never seen again. Where most of the guys coming into the tournament are completely unknown. There’s absolutely no problems with the dozens of ways Bellator is constrained by the tournament concept. All hail the tournament concept! GP OR DIE!