We’re gonna try something new here. We both like to debate, to argue our points of view through and we’d like to try and open that up. So what were gonna do is regularly (basically whenever a suitable question presents itself) pitch a question on current MMA events, and debate it making quick and to the point cases whether we agree or disagree with the House’s proposition for the article.
Then we ask you to vote at the bottom and get involved in the debate. Sound like fun?
We hope so.
Anyway, with Bellator taking a week off and World Series of Fights hoovering up former UFC talent, we frame the debate thus…
This House Believes WSOF can challenge Bellator as a legitimate #2 promotion in the United States
Pro – (Ross)
For me there is still a gap in the market where Strikeforce used to fit and even though Bellator are essentially the No. 2 by default now, them staying there is by no means a certainty. I would like to state that I am a Bellator fan and have followed it for years, but as of late I have struggled to get hyped up about it. It could be that living in the UK I have simply grown tired of having to fight to watch it, but in general this season hasn’t really grabbed me by the hair and swung me around. WSOF is helped by being brand new to the market with only 1 show in the bag so far and their 2nd a couple of weeks away, the anticipation of seeing what a new player can offer helps build interest.
They appear to be trying to make a statement about where they want to be sitting in the market by signing some household names in the MMA world. With guys like Fitch, Arlovski, Torres, Johnson, Volkmann, etc already on the books your average casual MMA fan should at least recognise somebody on the card and gain interest. I think it is important to be clear here, I am not saying that WSOF will be putting on better quality fights than Bellator, just that they could grab the section of the market that Bellator is aiming for at the moment. Which is the best organisation for quality is like the pound for pound rankings, everybody will have an opinion, however if we rate the official No. 2 as the organisation pulling in the bigger numbers then I think there is definitely at least a chance that WSOF could slot themselves in there unless BFC pick up there game.
To be honest, I can scarce believe this is even a question. Bellator are established, distinct and have the full backing of Viacom. On the other hand, WSOF look to have an ambitious promoter who has the indulgence of a TV station, which reminds me of nothing more than EliteXC or Strikeforce.
More importantly, it’s been shown that going toe to toe with the UFC with a like for like product is suicide as with the same ad hoc, cut to fit matchmaking, significantly less brand recognition and a roster of guys who washed out of the #1 promotion for whatever reason, you are always going to seem like a pale imitation.
Bellator, aside from established brand recognition and more significant monetary backing and media footprint have the distinction of their eminently credible tournament format and the fact that they tend to not be overly interested in guys who the UFC discards.
As such their product is a genuine alternative (rather than just a different, cheaper flavour of the same cola) to the UFC and has a level of sporting credibility and intrigue, from the feeling that we are seeing up & comers rather than yesterday’s news and I just don’t think WSOF of fights can compete with that.
That’s our piece – what’s your take?