Just as the MMA world was preparing themselves for the UFC’s next event, Bellator ups the main stream ante by signing Chael Sonnen. Business has just picked up for Bad Guy Inc. and rest assured, for Bellator and for MMA as a whole.
The eye balls that will be focusing on Bellator soon will begin to multiply. For all the MMA fans who often found it difficult within their schedules to watch Bellator, the signing of Rory MacDonald and now Chael Sonnen will likely change that.
While I’m not convinced the promotion will garner much of a Spike (no pun intended) when MacDonald fights, I believe there will be a fair amount of interest from the MMA masses to see how he does. But when it comes to Chael P., I would not be surprised if he challenges the ratings record the company currently has.
In Sonnen, the organization has added a mainstream name; a party who commands media interest akin to Conor McGregor and Ronda Rousey. Sonnen rocks the boat and is able to jump on any platform and use his gift of gab to generate a fair amount of interest in his fights.
He already works for ESPN. He will not only be a guest on many of their existing shows, but will be the subject of discussion on many of their other ones. Say what you will about his fighting style, current skill set, being past his prime or whatever else it may be. The bottom line is simple … people will watch, and the amount will likely be large.
Sonnen is already angling for bouts with the aforementioned MacDonald at middleweight, Tito Ortiz at light-heavyweight and Fedor at heavyweight. Yet the big bout he is jockeying for is vs. arch nemesis Wanderlei Silva. If that fight does actually take place, heck, even the people at the UFC will make time to watch it.
Sonnen is set to compete soon, so stay tuned for an announcement from Bellator soon. But in the meantime, there is a UFC event on Saturday night, with a few bouts to put some funny money into your pocket.
The main event will see lightweights Dustin Poirier and Michael Johnson tangle in an American Top Team vs. Blackzillians bad blood affair. One look at the official weigh-ins and you will clearly see the bad blood between the two fighters.
I know this rivalry all too well, not just from the two camps being magnified via The Ultimate Fighter, but since another one of my employers Titan FC made their official home in South Florida. Not an event goes by without the cards being littered with solid ATT vs. Blackzillians match-ups. I see it in the cage, in the crowd and backstage within the dressing rooms.
Poirier (-165) is on a four fight winning streak since moving up to the UFC’s 155 lbs division. Three of those four bouts have ended with a finish, while Johnson (+155) is on a two fight slide losing both via decision (mind you, one was a split and could have gone his way).
To say we will see fireworks in this bout may just be an understatement. This one will be ugly and likely be very ugly and very quick. On some sites, Poirier winning via (T)KO opened at +350. At the time of writing, it has dropped down to +259 while Johnson’s has gone up to +450. While anything can happen in MMA, I’m leaning towards this one ending with fists, and not via submission or via decision.
The same can be said for the co-main event between Uriah Hall (+190) and Derek Brunson (-210). When these odds opened, they were much closer, and since then, the money on Brunson as the favorite continues to come in.
He opened as a +475 to (T)KO Hall and has dropped down to +380. You have to wonder if this is something that should be pounced on now before it potentially reaches the high 200’s. Or perhaps you fancy Hall to pull off the (T)KO, especially considering it has ballooned up to +423.
There is always a risk in putting money down on props, but if you like doing it for fun and are wagering funds you have no problem potentially losing, these are the bouts I would pay close attention to. Or heck … do the complete opposite of what I suggest. Either way, I’m always interested in ready your thoughts and angles on why you bet on what you bet on. Hit me up anytime on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram … the handle is the same for all: @ShowdownJoe.