More options the better for the fighters signing with a new promotion offering better contract during free agency or as prospect, instead of being locked in with UFC because of lack of options.
Love there’s variety of promotions to sign with such as Bellator as many UFC fighters got offered better deals since Bellator really wanted them such as Rory MacDonald, Gegard Mousasi, Cris Cyborg, Phil Davis.
Bjorn Rebney days Bellator was lackluster promotion but since Scott Coker took over in 2014, recognize the improvements right way as they signed world class UFC fighters and matched them up with Bellator Champions and stars like Douglas Lima, Patricio Pitbull, Vadim Nemkov and Michael Chandler.
In addition Scott Coker, Rich Chou former Bellator matchmaker began signing next generation of stars in AJ McKee, Aaron Pico, Johnny Eblen, Yaroslav Amosov, Vadim Nemkov, Valentin Moldavsky.
Bellator last few years improved a lot since Coker took over from broadcast transitions, roster improves, attendance and viewership growth.
However several ways Bellator can improve to become official #2 Promotion instead of battling with One Championship & PFL.
1. New Ownership Sole Focus
Paramount Global is a mass media conglomerate, multi-billion dollar company that owns Paramount, CBS, MTV, Showtime and many other important assets.
Highly doubt the CEO’s, big time executives really pay hundred percent attention to Bellator however I believe another Billionaire would as it becomes there sole focus. However believe if Paramount Global sold Bellator to a passionate MMA fan/fans that has billions of dollars really believe they can take Bellator to next level.
New billionaire owners would hopefully treat Bellator like Jerry Buss owned the lakers, George Steinbrenner owned the Yankees, How the Rooney Family owns the Steelers, How Abu Dhabi United Group runs Manchester City to world class brand.
Similar to UFC needed crazy billionaires to buy UFC, Bellator needs crazy billionaires to buy Bellator and build it global multi billion dollar promotion.
2. Remain Broadcasted on CBS
Showtime lost five hundred thousand subscribers in 2022 and 2023 will continue to lose subscribers. Completely understand need to have Paramount Plus subscription and have Showtime subscription. All a headache for most viewers who don’t want the annoyance when it’s so easy to stream UFC on ESPN +.
Paramount Plus and merging Showtime rumored to be merging for easier access but in meantime is giant headache that disrupts Bellator ratings improvement.
Bellator 290, the promotion’s first-ever card on CBS, averaged 1.068 million viewers. Surprised by the viewership ratings figured 800k. Proves the power CBS has on cable TV when it’s the first or one of the early channels you see.
Rather broadcasted on Showtime remain broadcasted on CBS to continue improve Bellator’s viewership and brand as it worked well with Fedor’s retirement fight.
3. New Content and Better Promotion before fights
UFC does an excellent job promoting upcoming pay per views and exciting UFC Fight Night’s with the countdowns, UFC embedded content, Instagram Page, fighters promoting their upcoming fight on ESPN First Take and ESPN shows.
Bellator: In Focus is there content promotion. Creating content for special fights like AJ McKee vs Pitbull, Bellator vs Rizin, Fedor retirement etc. Rarely create content for regular events which they should start consistently start doing especially for Bellator’s next generation of stars and current champions.
Content Suggestions- Mini Docu Series on Aaron Pico childhood, Bellator losses and recent success with Greg Jackson. Following Pico before his upcoming fight down at Jackson Wink and at Treigning Lab.
Content Suggestion #2– AJ McKee Bellator’s next star, Father and son relationship with Antonio McKee, lifestyle without training. Put this star in front of CBS sports personalities and let him talk express himself.
Content Suggestion #3- Yaroslav Amosov, Johnny Eblen, Dalton Rosta, Austin Vanderford all training partners at American Top Team. Behind the scenes footage
Content Suggestion #4– Bellator fighters born and raised in Dagestan from Usman Nurmagomedov, Islam Mamedov, Khasan Magomedsharipov, Magomed Magomedov, Timur Khizriev.
Content Suggestion #5– Document the Bellator Lightweight Grand Prix remaining opponents lifes before and after fights
More airtime for Scott Coker to promote cards on CBS from in between half time shows for basketball and football games. Fighters appearing on Boomer and Gio, Jim Rome Show and on half time shows for CBS Sports. Getting as much new interest from non-Bellator fans much as possible.
4. Update Bellator App Completely
Bellator definitely lacks at uploading fights on Paramount Plus and YouTube. Sometimes you really want to watch great fights like Pitbull vs McKee 2, Johnny Eblen masterpiece performance against Tokov or Bellator prospect fight on the prelims.
Bellator app sometimes has the recent fights on there but takes some time to watch them. Bellator wants people to learn about there great fighters they need to watch there first to see how amazing they are!!
Bellator App– Upload Full Fights from recent years focusing on the “Top” Bellator fighters on the full fight page
Bellator App– Showing recent interviews from Weighing In Podcast with fighters or with Mauro Ranallo, All content from podcast, interviews, recent news on all the page right in front.
Bellator App– Improve the presentation for Bellator original, full fights and other content don’t leave it on the bottom of the scrolling section
5. Give Bellator prospects less favorable matchups
Completely understand slowly build the prospect up and not ruin your million dollar talent strategy by giving him favorable matchups for few fights but after two or three enough is enough.
Plenty of times I’ve seen Bellator Prospects get thrown “cans” looks bad on Bellator, suppose to be professional promotion but looks ridiculous when you can tell the opponent is just there to lose and looks sad.
Like I said I understand the strategy but if the prospect is making it look easy give the kid testful matchups within reason.
6. Signing Free Agents from UFC and Other Promotions
Continue building the top level of the roster by signing expired UFC world class fighters that are top fighters in there weight class instead of signing released fighters with 1-3 UFC records.
Besides signing great talent from UFC there’s champion caliber fighters from promotions all over the world. I love that Coker signed Mansour Barnaoui Road FC Lightweight Champion, Tofiq Musayev Rizin Lightweight Tournament winner, Magomed Magomedov ACB Bantamweight Champion but they missed on plenty of great fighters that signed with UFC instead.
Acquire these fighters listed below is just ideas of fighters I love Bellator to sign in 2023 or 2024 to enhance their roster.
Sign Saladhine Parnasse – Current KSW Featherweight Champion attract Paris fanbase to Bellator
Sign Kayla Harrison– Ronda Rousey training partner, two time PFL Women’s Featherweight Champion
Sign Magomed Magomedkerimov– PFL Welterweight Champion imagine him vs Amosov or Logan Storley
Sign Albert Tumenov– Former UFC fighter now fights with ACA, Maybe Coker can fanagle something
Sign Felipe Froes– Former ACA Featherweight Champion modern version of Jose Aldo
Sign Jakub Wikłacz – KSW Bantamweight Champion
Sign Brad Katona– Brave CF Bantamweight Champion