Despite an unsuccessful first attempt, the Bellator promotion are now putting the wheels in motion for a second go at the pay-per-view business model with their CEO Bjorn Rebney confirming on Monday that an event is currently pencilled in for this Spring.
Headlining the show this time around will be a rubber match between current lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez and the man he reclaimed the belt from, Michael Chandler.
The two fights between this pair have been thrilling encounters, with each being a candidate for ‘Fight Of The Year’ in 2011 and 2013 respectively, so it’s a natural choice for the top spot on the card.
Bellator first dipped their toe in PPV waters in November last year with a show headlined by former UFC stars Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson and Tito Ortiz, backed up by Alvarez Vs Chandler II in the co-main event, but it ended in disaster when Ortiz pulled out injured just a week out, and rather than continue on without that marquee fight they opted to pull the plug on it instead.
However, in an attempt to salvage something from the wreckage, Bellator opted to air the card minus ‘Rampage’ Vs Ortiz live on Spike TV instead and were given a timely boost when that resulted in record ratings, with an average of 1.1 million viewers tuning in, peaking at 1.4 million during the main event between Alvarez and Chandler.
That may have helped convince the promotion that there still enough interest to continue to pursue a PPV show, but on paper it still seems like a risky endeavour.
Nevertheless, Bellator – or rather their cash-rich owners, Viacom – appear willing to roll the dice once again in an attempt to break into the pay-per-view market and position themselves as a genuine competitor to the UFC, so expect another strong card to be assembled over the coming months around this headline fight.