Last year, Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney, announced the promotion would hold its first pay-per-view, with the headliner featuring Quinton “Rampage” Jackson vs Tito Ortiz and co-main being a match between Michael Chandler and Eddie Alvarez. The event never made it to PPV after Ortiz pulled out of the fight with a strained neck, making the event free on Spike TV.
Fast forward to earlier this year, when Rebney again announced a PPV — Alvarez vs Chandler — with the lightweight belt on the line. Again, one of the main event fighters pulled out (Alvarez, concussion), and Bellator was forced to decide whether to keep Bellator 120 a PPV event.
The Southern California based promotion decided to keep the event on PPV, and juggled the card, making Rampage Jackson vs King Mo Lawal the main event, with the co-main an interim lightweight championship fight between Michael Chandler and Will Brooks.
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As far as the event went, Rampage and King Mo did a lot of talking before the fight, during the fight and after the fight — and Rampage went on to win a unanimous decision that was three rounds of King Mo taking or attempting to take Rampage down, and Rampage trying to put together his punches and stay off the ground.
It looked like the former UFC and Pride light heavyweight champion was tired af-ter the first round, with King Mo looking just as winded and his left eye bloodied during the second round. After the fight, King Mo (feeling slighted by the loss), said in his post-fight interview that Rebney was “a **** riding ****.” The expletive rant was Mo alluding to Rebney having a hand in the judges decision.
In the co-main, the heavily favored Chandler, lost a decision to Brooks in an entertaining fight, and former UFC light heavyweight champion Tito Ortiz, received his first win in three years, submitting Alexander Shlemenko.
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After the win — Bellator, never short on its soap opera story lines — saw Ortiz’s ex-wife Jenna Jameson go on Twitter, calling Ortiz a “cheater” and saying he should face Rampage Jackson if he thought “he was back.” Her post was later deleted, but it was just business as usual for Bellator.
After the dust has settled and the smoke has dissipated, with the drama and theatrics, did the event pull in PPV buys?
The numbers won’t be available for another week, so it will be interesting to see how many people forked out money to watch Rampage, King Mo, Ortiz, and Chandler.
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Bellator has been trying to put on its first PPV for awhile now; now that they have, let’s see what’s the next step for the promotion if they didn’t pull in they number of viewers they anticipated.
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