MMA Roundtable: 6/27 Edition

Welcome to the MMA Roundtable! This week we have Roni, Collin and David talking Bonus Checks, Coker taking over Bellator, Sonnen to the Hall of Fame and UFC Fightpass.

1. Will Scott Coker fix Bellator?Bellator

Roni: I hope so. Look what he did with SF.
He is much better in the way he deals with the media. He has a good rapport with his fighters. And most important, he has no beef with Dana.
I do think he is the right person to guide the UFC, so Bellator is the next best thing.

Collin: I think that bringing in Coker was a mistake. I personally liked the tournament format; it erased a lot of the matchmaking nonsense and gave us some really interesting fighters. A smaller has to build marketable stars, and there is no better way to do that then to have them fight on a regular basis. Tossing that out in favor of superfights is not the right way to go with their roster. Coker built Strikeforce on the backs of already marketable fighters from Pride and a few UFC castoffs. Aside from Cung Le, can anyone name one guy that Strikeforce built? There simply aren’t enough marketable fighters outside of the UFC now for Coker to make that work again.

David: IF he can make some changes, I know fighters that have turned down Bellator due to the contracts, and several fighters can’t stand Bellators management, thats never a good thing when good fighters are turning down Bellator to go WSOF or Legacy, on a smaller stage, Bellator needs to embrace who they are- a cable alternative to the PPV model, and a place where young up and comers can work their way to the UFC.

2. If you were given the job of taking over Bellator, what would you do?Chandler

Roni: I would fix their tourney. This is the best “unique” thing they offer, and I feel the best way to set who’s the next title challenger.
I would stop protecting/bumping fighters just due to name-power. If they are good enough, they would win the tourney.
If they are just a name, you will look bad trying to award them shortcuts for title shots anyway.

Collin: I would keep with the tournament format. Like I said above, they have to build talent, and keeping fighters active by having them fight at fixed intervals is the best way to do that. It also worked nicely that it makes for a “season” that people can follow rather easily. Their first PPV was a bigger than expected success, even after the main event fell apart! Michael Chandler didn’t just appear out of thin air as a marketable guy, he was built by the tournament system. Marcin Held is another one, as well as my favorite Bellator fighter, Alexander Schlemenko. Don’t mess with whats working by adopting something we’ve seen fail over and over.

David: Drop the number of cards down. Do a show the last Friday of every month. I’m keeping the tourney, but its not the ONLY way to get a title shot. Make it easy, Tourney winner, title defense, tourney winner, title defense. You built Chandler via the tourney, and can keep building guys that way. Having a crap 4 man so you can give a UFC castoff a title shot is just stupid, and weakens the concept.

3. Will we see Chael in the UFC HOF?Chael Sonnen

Roni: I have no doubt we will.
After all, it is not the point of winning that gets you into the UFC HOF. Heck, a clothing manufactor is in there! So Sonnen helped as much (or more) than most active and past fighters.
Besides, he is still helping with his personna on the UFC shows on TV.

Collin: Depends on whether he stays on Dana’s good side or not. I love the UFC, but their Hall of Fame is a complete joke. It is basically a Hall of Favoritism, and until they start inducting guys like Frank Shamrock, it always will be.

David: I don’t think so, I mean his fight with Anderson was awesome, but not on the level of Bonner/Forrest I, and everyone else that has gone in is a legit Hall of Famer, as far as the actual fighters are concerned. I understand the fussing about non-fighters, but other sports put owners and refs in there.

4. On Legacy Fighting Championships (My Guys went 2-1 BTW) they give a straight 1K bonus for a finish- do you think this would be a good idea for the UFC? Just have Dana or Joe walk in there with a 5K Brick like on TUF for finishes?

How many KOs do YOU have on National TV?
How many KOs do YOU have on National TV?

Roni: I think they should. But I don’t know how much it would help.
Fighters in UFC know they need to win or they are out. That makes them be more conservative. If they had job security, then the bonus would not be needed. Besides, the ones that ARE secure (i.e. big names) do not need the Bonus anyway.

Collin: I am definitely in favor of incentives based around finishes. I’m actually working on an article about that now, and I think that people fighting for decisions is the biggest problem our sport currently deals with. I like the idea of giving guys a bigger finish bonus than win bonus, and I also like the idea of the loser getting a small bonus in a fight he gets finished in. I know everyone likes to say that was unethical when Pride did it in Rampage x Sakuraba, but it takes two to tango. If a fighter is less afraid of losing than he will take more risks and the fights will be more exciting. Everyone wins, including the fans and promoters.

David: I thought it was an awesome touch to the card (and Shoutout to Hero Henry and Primetime Kelly and Danger for putting on a show). I really don’t think it makes a difference in the fighters trying harder, I mean you do have another trained fighter looking to beat the snot out of you, but still. I do think that fighters that aren’t making much picking up extra cash is always a good thing.

5. Name me ONE fight you care about on the Fightpass card. UFC Fight Night 45

Roni: There are a lot of fighters that are fun to watch but are on FP card. I hate the fact they locked down something that was free before moving into FP only.
IMO this is a big mistake. Those guys were free for a reason. So people would not get FP for them alone; and the ones that get would have watched them for free on Youtube & Facebook prelims anyway.

Collin: Hioki and do Bronx Olivera are two of my favorite featherweights to watch. Olivera has a really slick submission game, and his calf crush over Eric Wisely was my vote for submission of the year in 2012. Hioki has a better clinch and takedown game, and is probably the more physical fighter of the two, but being in do Bronx’s guard is no picnic. That should be a really fun fight to watch, even though it doesn’t have a lot of relevancy in terms of the title picture right now.

David: None. I mean really. Don’t care about a single fight, I do like Nate, and Te Huna used to be a rising star, but they are on a combined FIVE FIGHT losing streak! FOUR of those are first round stoppages. On the FS1 show, Lamas, Craig and Kelvin should all win fairly convincingly. Cub Swanson should be making a highlight reel showing for his title shot.

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