Poor Bellator, despite being the largest MMA promotion in America not owned by Zuff, they are generally an afterthought to all but the most hardcore fan. Granted their lack of household names and slot on the basic cable afterthought that is MTV2 hinders their exposure to the casual fan, but name me another promotion that puts on a weekly show? Not to mention, this season of Bellator has featured some legitimately awesome fights. While rumors abound that the financial stability of the Chicago-based promotion is rocky at best, CEO Bjorn Rebney continues to plug away, signing new talent and refuting allegations of his company being cash-strapped.
Tomorrow night, Bellator 45 will take place at the L’Auberge Du Lac in Lake Charles, LA. The card is pretty intriguing and features a light heavyweight title fight between Richard Hale and Christian M’Pumbu. Hale has already laid down the gauntlet in terms of smack talk.
“I absolutely see this fight with Christian M'Pumbu ending early. I honestly don't see it going the full five rounds. I'm going to push the pace, and I'm going to keep that heat on him so he can't find an opening. I'm going to make him sweat. I'm going to let him know right away that he's in a fight. This is a world title fight, and I'm going to make him understand why.”
“I want to just annihilate Christian M'Pumbu in this fight. Not only do I want to establish myself as a champion in this fight, I want to make everyone think, ‘Oh shit, this guy isn't playing around.’ I want to end this tournament in spectacular fashion, just like I started it.”
Also rounding out the card will be this season’s featherweight tournament finale and a middleweight tournament qualifier bout.
All in all, the fourth season of Bellator has been outstanding in terms of the fights, but I have to say that I am less than impressed with the move to MTV2. You never know how much you miss HD television until you are forced to watch a non-HD broadcast. I know, I know, call me an elitist.
Bellator 45 Full Card
Light Heavyweight World Title Fight: Christian M'Pumbu (17-3-1) vs. Richard Hale (17-3-1)
Featherweight Final Fight: Patricio Pitbull (16-1) vs. Daniel Straus (16-3)
Middleweight Qualifier Fight: Sam Alvey (14-2) vs. Karl "Psycho" Amoussou (12-3-2)
Local Main Event: John Hill (4-1) vs. Shawn Jordan (9-2)
Local Feature Fight: Nicolae Cury (4-1) vs. Luis "Sapo" Santos (47-6)
Local Feature Fight: Tim Ruberg (5-0) vs. Mike Fleniken (3-3)
Local Feature Fight: Rene Nazare (8-0) vs. Kalvin Hackney (11-1)
Local Feature Fight: Joseph Abercrombie (2-1) vs. Ben Parpart (2-2)