Bellator's first installment of what was hyped to be its signature event of the year, "Dynamite," may have set the company's records for live attendance and live gate, but didn't fare as well in the TV ratings.
The show, highlighted by a Tito Ortiz challenge to light heavyweight champion Liam McGeary and a four-man light heavyweight tournament, averaged 800,000 viewers between 9 p.m. as 12:42 a.m. The number was actually below the average of 892,000 viewers for Scott Coker's first year at the helm of the company.
The live event at the SAP Center in San Jose drew an estimated 11,000 fans, the most for an event in Bellator's six-and-a-half year history.
The company had hoped for success similar to the June 19 show, headlined by Ken Shamrock vs. Kimbo Slice, which averaged 1.58 million viewers and peaked at 2.1 million for the main event.
When looking at the ratings pattern for the show, the key was the lack of growth throughout the show. The starting point was solid for a Bellator major show, which would then usually grow as bigger names appear later in the show. But that didn't happen here.
Another key was college football competition, most notably an Alabama vs. Mississippi game that did 7.6 million viewers on ESPN.
The verdict was that people were far more excited about a grudge match with all kinds of silly pro wrestling histrionics, against Bonnar, a well-known name, than a championship fight with McGeary, who is far lesser known.
The lead in and first few minutes of McGeary vs. Ortiz in the 12:15 to 12:30 a.m. time slot did 711,000 viewers, while the last few minute and post-match, from 12:30 a.m. to 12:42 a.m., did 807,000 viewers. While the late start of the main event likely hurt, UFC on Saturday night almost always has the main event going into the cage at about 12:30 a.m. There are UFC shows where the main event isn't the high viewership point of the show, due to the late start. But often it still is.
What that indicates is that at this point the public doesn't see the Bellator light heavyweight title as something that special, even though Ortiz was promoting hard the concept of being world champion once again.
The show peaked early with the King Mo Lawal vs. Linton Vassell first round light heavyweight tournament fight doing 930,000 viewers. The Davis vs. Emanuel Newtonfight that followed did 860,000 viewers.
LINK to full story: Bellator does 800,000 viewers for first installment of Dynamite - MMA Fighting
Vitor Belfort reportedly began testosterone replacement therapy, or TRT, in 2011, after Anderson Silva landed an iconic finishing kick to his face in a middleweight title fight. Following a battery of tests, a “UFC doctor” informed Belfort that his energy was low and recommended he begin taking doses of testosterone.
Other fighters had been informed by doctors working with the UFC, or unaffiliated anti-aging specialists, that TRT would be suitable to address such problems as low energy; the UFC generally kept tabs on fighter use. When Chael Sonnen infamously tested positive for an elevated testosterone-to-epitestosterone ratio in California in 2010, UFC doctors and executives, including Dana White, were actively monitoring his blood work. The promotion, it turned, had issued the fighter an “exemption” to use testosterone, a year before any commission was asked to issue a similar hall pass.
This is how the UFC came to possess Belfort’s test results.
The .pdf encompasses a facsimile transmittal sheet from “Dr. Pierce” of Ageless Forever, one of several anti-aging facilities clustered around the 6000 block of S. Rainbow Blvd in Las Vegas, to “Greg” regarding “Vitor Belfort - lab results,” as well as the first two pages of a three-page report from the Laboratory Corporation of America, or LabCorp. It can be viewed in full here:
A detail from lab results the UFC mistakenly forwarded to third parties.
This document shows that Belfort’s free testosterone levels were high—two and a half times above the average for a man his age, in fact. At a time when the TRT exemption as a form of sanctioned doping was becoming a major issue in the sport, the document rightly raised suspicions among those who received it.
Though the results made their way through MMA circles, they have, rather amazingly, not seen the light of day until now.
One prominent fighter said that while he was not emailed the results directly from the UFC, he nonetheless saw them, via someone not on the original recipient list, and came to the conclusion that Belfort had cheated and that the UFC had covered it up. This sentiment was echoed in numerous off-the-record conversations with people in the industry.
“please delete ASAP!!!!!”
Sept. 4, 2012, got interesting at 3:01 p.m. Pacific time for the people who received the .pdf from the UFC. A paralegal working for the UFC had meant to send an email with the subject “Vitor Belfort Labs” to three UFC executives. Instead, much of the known MMA world, including several people with whom the promotion openly feuded in the past, received it.
At 3:04, the paralegal sent out an email attempting to recall the original message.
At 3:55, a third email explained that the original had been sent in error and that the attempt to recall had come too late. Recipients were asked to “please disregard the e-mail, please delete ASAP!!!!!”
At 7:16, recipients got a memorandum from Ike Lawrence Epstein, UFC’s executive vice president and general counsel at the time.
Full story here: A Sketchy Drug Test Didn’t Stop Vitor Belfort From Fighting At UFC 152
Bellator Dynamite had great presentation value. Very creative and creates some solid hype unlike the boxing generic boxing entrance the other mma promos use. It really adds some flair and entertainment to the event like Pride FC did back in the day. Good to see Scott Coker wanting to take Bellator in this direction
The event started off with a great homage to ancient battle throughout the world. And not just gladiators..
The arena looked great with the mma cage next to the kickboxing ring. Both conveyed in separate colours for a nice contrast.
Lenne Hardt was like her Pride FC self with her crazy intros!
The all Japanese all fighter intro was back!! Complete with the whole light show and fireworks to the hype the night's event.
Cut to a little history lesson video of how MMA came to be and the legends that made it.
a 4 person tournament.. that didn't pan out due to injury but props on giving it a shot
Fighters being allowed to wear whatever sponsor they want and whatever outfit they want to convey their personal character.
Mo allowed to wear the crown, cape and medallion
Bellator even encouraging personality via their tale of the tape including the crown
Mike Bronzoulis allowed to wear the Greek Gladiator outfit in his intro
Tito with his army opening complete with veterans and fog!
Paul Daley with his explosives countdown complete with bomb sound.
the ramp lit up and a nice camera angle for the fighter coming out.
The UFC has added yet another undefeated Polish fighter to its women's strawweight division.
Karolina Kowalkiewicz, who has fought for Invicta FC and KSW, signed a deal with the UFC on Monday, officials confirmed.
Kowalkiewicz (9-0) is regarded as someone who can come right in and be a top-15 talent in the world's biggest MMA promotion.
LINK: UFC signs Polish strawweight prospect Karolina Kowalkiewicz - MMA Fighting
Jon Jones will be in front of a judge before the end of the month.
The former UFC light heavyweight champion will have a plea hearing in Albuquerque's Second Judicial District Court on Sept. 29 at 8:30 a.m. local time, according to official New Mexico court documents. Jones was arrested in April and is facing a felony charge of leaving the scene of an accident involving great bodily harm or death.
Documents obtained by MMA Fighting this week indicated that Jones' legal team is positioning him for a plea deal. On Monday, the case was transferred from Metropolitan Court to Second Judicial District Court and assigned to judge Charles Brown. The judicial assignment document reads that the case is coming to Brown's court "on the stipulation of the parties for the entry of a pre-indictment plea."
Jones, 28, was not required to cop a plea unless he was indicted and an indictment would have only come from a grand jury. Jones' case was never taken to a grand jury and the fact that it is now in Second Judicial District Court means it has bypassed that step.
On April 26, Jones allegedly ran a red light in a rented SUV, striking a car driven by a pregnant woman and allegedly fled the scene afterward. The woman broke her arm in the collision. After Albuquerque police could not find him for nearly 24 hours, Jones turned himself in and was arrested on a felony hit-and-run charge.
At that point, the Bernalillo County district attorney had 60 days to determine whether or not to bring the case to a grand jury. Those 60 days expired in June, but there was still a possibility of it seeing a grand jury until this week.
Jones was suspended by the UFC and stripped of his title one day after the arrest. He was supposed to defend the belt againstAnthony Johnson in the main event of UFC 187 in May. Instead,Daniel Cormier replaced him and beat Johnson for the vacant strap.
Jones, the the best pound-for-pound MMA fighter in the world, has not fought since beating Cormier in the main event of UFC 182 last January. He was the youngest champion in UFC history at age 23 when he beat Mauricio Rua in 2011.
Cormier makes his first light heavyweight title defense againstAlexander Gustafsson at UFC 192 in Houston on Oct. 3 -- four days after Jones' plea hearing.
LINK: Plea hearing set for former UFC champion Jon Jones in hit-and-run case - MMA Fighting
(Bellator) Liam McGeary def. Tito Ortiz via submission (inverted triangle) (R1, 4;41)
(Bellator) Phil Davis def. Francis Carmont via first-round KO (2:15) - tourney final
(Glory) Saulo Cavalari def. Zack Mwekassa via majority decision (48-46, 48-46, 47-47)
(Bellator) Josh Thomson def. Mike Bronzoulis via sub (R3, 0:39)
(Glory) Paul Daley def. Fernando Gonzalez via unanimous decision (29-28 x2, 30-27)
(Glory) Keri Anne Taylor-Melendez def. Hadley Griffith via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-26)
(Bellator) Phil Davis def. Emanuel Newton via submission
(Bellator) Muhammed Lawal def. Linton Vassell via decision
(Bellator) Israel Delgado vs. JJ Okanovich
(Bellator) James Terry vs. Carlos Rocha
(Bellator) Matt Ramirez vs. Josh Paiva
(Glory) Serhiy Adamchuck def. Anvar Boynazarov via UD (30-27 x3)
(Bellator) Gabe Carrasco def. Joe Neal via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28 x2)
(Bellator) Adam Piccolotti def. Salvador Becerra via sub (neck crank) at 1:47 of R2
(Bellator) Thomas Diagne vs. Mike Malott ruled majority draw (29-28 Diagne, 28-28 x2)
(Bellator) Francis Carmont def. Roy Boughton via unanimous decision
(Bellator) Nick Pica vs. Mauricio Alonso
(Bellator) Victor Jones vs. David Blanco
(Bellator) Gloria Telles vs. Alysia Cortez
(Glory) Jose Palacios def. TJ Arcengal via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 30-27)
(Bellator) Brandon Hester vs. DeMarco Villalona
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