Bellator’s ninth season draws to a close tonight, so it’s time to reflect back on the past couple months, mull over the facts that were gleaned, and determine if we’ve learned anything. Since I am both contractually obligated to watch Bellator and the kind of MMA fan that will watch anything (example: my play-by-plays on Twitter of two homeless men fighting in the park), I realize I may have taken in a bit more of Bjorn Rebney’s promotion than some of you. Therefore, I will only stick to the “big picture” stuff. Also, I will try to use words with only a few syllables. You’re welcome.
Tito Ortiz is on the Verge of Falling Apart – Literally
There was a ton of hoopla surrounding Bellator’s pay-per-view plans and how it would be headlined by former UFC champs Tito Ortiz and Quinton “Rampage” Jackson. And rightly so, because guys like Ortiz and Rampage don’t come cheap, and you better believe Rebney is going to milk their names for all their worth via ticker tape parades and big fruit baskets sent to all the media (note to Bjorn: I don’t know what a pomegranate is. They’re wasted on me, bro.). Anyway, of course Ortiz is going to get injured before the event and have to withdraw. Remember how his UFC career tapered off? He pulled out of fights because of torn ACLs, a skull cracked open like a pterodactyl egg, dyslexia, syphilis, Legionnaire’s Disease and potato famine. Of course Ortiz won’t be able to headline your pay-pay-view because of a fractured neck! Bjorn, you silly goose! Ortiz is literally falling apart.
Rampage Jackson Can Still Crush Cans
Thankfully, after the Ortiz/PPV debacle, Rampage was given another match-up – this one against UFC castoff Joey Beltran at Bellator 108. Now, usually, when a UFC vet enters into the Bellator cage, the chances are great that that particular UFC vet is going to get creamed by a fighter no one has ever heard about. But Bellator wisely pitted two UFC vets against each other. The result? Rampage crushing that can like it was nobody’s business. Hooray!
Cheick Kongo Can Still Crush Cans Too
Cheick Kongo took a huge risk entering Bellator’s heavyweight tournament, what with his Octagon pedigree and all. But he stared that UFC/Bellator curse right in the eye and said, “Non, monsieur. Je suis un gran homme qui aime a coup adversaires dans l’aine.” And it worked! Now Kongo is the proud winner of Bellator’s Season 9 heavyweight tourney.
Bellator Pay-Per-Views Are Best When They’re Free
This one is sort of self-explanatory, especially given that Ortiz pulling out killed their pay-per-view aspirations and turned that big event into a free show.
Eddie Alvarez and Michael Chandler Will Eventually Kill Each Other in the Cage
Yeah, so Bellator 106 was supposed to be their pay-per-view event until it wasn’t. What did we end up getting for our troubles? An epic rematch of an epic fight between the epic Michael Chandler and even epic-er Eddie Alvarez, and they fought so hard that for a while there it seemed like one (or both) would expire right there in the cage. Unfortunately for them (yet fortunately for us), Alvarez took the decision, which, since they’ve now each won one bout, means they will inevitably meet in the cage once more. It will be just as awesome as the first two times, and then they’ll die, and we’ll feel bad but still say it was awesome.
Hey, Joe Riggs is Still Alive – Did You Know That?
Two things surprised me this season. The first was that there was apparently a reality show on SpikeTV called Fight Master (nope, did not see it – did you?), and Joe Riggs won it, which means, hey, Joe Riggs is alive! If you’ll recall, Riggs used to fight in the UFC, but that was so long ago that Dana White had hair and wasn’t all yoked out on HGH and we were young and innocent. So yeah, those things happened.
Don’t Ever Change, War Machine
He gets booted from the UFC for being an idiot, goes into porn, goes to jail for beating up a bunch of porn stars at some party, and upon his release, gets signed by Bellator, where he does just okay. Meanwhile, he’s got a tattoo-covered porn star girlfriend who comes to all his fights, and he still says ridiculous things that would get him fired if the UFC were still his employers. Who am I talking about? If you said me, well, screw you. I’m talking about War Machine, who recently Instagrammed a pic of a new tattoo his lady got to honor their recent abortion (or something).
Front-Page Photo Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports