Is Zuffa actively counterprogramming Bellator’s new season?

Working on the weekends is basically terrible. Aside from the obvious, it makes the late-night text messages from friends that much more annoying. At 3:07 a.m. on Saturday night, my phone buzzed, and I had the following exchange with a drunken fan.

Fan: Dude, did you see those upsets?
Me: Yeah, I picked Cormier, but Rockhold was a bit of a shock
Fan: What? I was talking about Bellator
Fan: I am down $250 at Caesars
Fan: New Jersey is wild
Fan: Dudes are orange and wearing rash guards with blazers

Sure I knew there was a Bellator card over the weekend, but, then again, it is kind of my job to know. The fact that the promotion has moved their cards to Saturday nights has greatly diminished the amount of media attention they get. Can you really blame the MMA website? If you rely on hits, what would you rather post articles about Bellator or Zuffa-owned property?

The answer is obvious. If you think Zuffa doesn’t know this, then you probably think the moon landing was a hoax. Bellator has struggled to compete against Strikeforce and the UFC in the past. That was before they positioned themselves as a legitimate competitor with a potential Spike TV television deal.

For the next four weekends, Bellator will be forced to go head-to-head with either a Strikeforce of UFC event. That means a Bellator card will not be the main MMA attraction until Oct. 15, which will be the sixth event into their current season.

Is the brain trust at Zuffa actively trying to sink Bellator’s ratings? You would have to ask them. However, this is a tactic that they have used effectively against Elite XC and Affliction.

Sept. 17
Bellator 50
UFC Fight Night 25

Sept. 24
Bellator 51
UFC 135

Oct. 1
Bellator 52
UFC Live 6

Oct. 8
Bellator 53
UFC 136

Oct. 15
Bellator 54

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