Why Bellator Has Jumped the Shark

Posted: June 13, 2013 in Bellator, Marketing, PR, Strikeforce, UFC

Now in fairness to the phrase – Bellator would have had to at one point produced a phenomenal showing in order to point to decline – but stay with me anyway.

Bellator Fighting Championships has signed Quinton “Rampage” Jackson to its light heavyweight division.  If this were 5 years ago (ok even 3 years ago) this would be a phenomenal signing and a huge draw.  However, this is not five years ago and this Jackson is no longer that Rampage.  The Rampage that crossed over from Pride/WEC, knocking out Chuck Liddell & Wanderlei Silva is gone.  The Rampage that put on a five round war with Forrest Griffin is gone – what remains is a man that no longer knows what he wants to do.  Is he a fighter, an actor, a promoter?

Unfortunately, his answer is all three – as part of his deal with Bellator and SPIKE TV, Jackson is also now a member of the TNA Impact Wrestling family.  Yup, in case you have been hiding under a rock – Rampage is now a pro wrestler.  TNA first signed “King” Mo Lawal for double duty and I was ok with that.  Why? Strikeforce was a joke and so was its “King.”  To have him be part of a second string pro wrestling circuit to promote a second string MMA organization did not make me blink an eye.  But to do so with Rampage, you don’t raise the Bellator/TNA brand – you simply lower Rampage’s.

Brock Lesnar proved that a pro wrestler with a certain skill set can do well in mixed martial arts.  Years prior Ken Shamrock showed that an MMA legend could take his skills and become a pro wrestler. However, when you do both – you lose something.  You lose the reality of the sport of MMA.  This is not a circus, it is a serious sport – where serious injury can occur.

As much as this post is a “slam” to the former slam king Rampage – the true focus should be on Bellator.  When you allow your talent to moonlight in the pro wrestling circuit I can no longer take you (the MMA brand) or your fighters seriously.  Beyond the fact that you will have people wondering if your tournament fights are scripted, you have turned the fastest growing sport into what I have said all along the sport should never be – a 3 ring circus.

What do you think? Am I overreacting or do you think this is a bad move all round?

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