Bellator Dublin: what was good, what was bad and what’s next
Bellator Dublin took place on Friday night and it was one hell of an event. The stacked card was full of fun fights and did not lack entertainment. Timing of fights was at an incredible pace too, sometimes too much as it seemed as though fighters were rushing to the cage but the important thing was that fighters got to fight. The timing makes the whole event seem like it goes so fast and keeps the heart rate elevated by just watching the constant fights happening with little break between. Add in the deafening Irish fans and it was simply incredible, nothing can compare to that alone.
The overall reception of Bellator is also widely accepted by fighters mainly due to the improved pay conditions and increased level competition. We don’t get to see the background and benefits of this on a personal level for each fighter but we do see it being reflected in performances. The ability to train more professionally as Will Fleury put it before the event, shows how the level each fighter on the card has increased as a result of this.
Negatives were hard to find for this event, it seemed to go rather smoothly. Some could say some fights being cancelled are negatives but that happens to almost every card that’s put on. The TV gap is still a major thing that needs to improve. Following the prelims, we were straight into the first main card. This is where there was zero live broadcast was available and the fights were later shown on a tape delay. As a result of this, some amazing fights were missed. The opener between Frans Mlambo and Dominic Wooding was sensational and is a must-watch. The high-level main event which was missed live too where Benson Henderson defeated Myles Jury on points.
The only other negative was the confusion with the MVP/Kiely fight. Namely, the moment where a point was deducted. MVP was also quite unhappy with this and many were confused to why the point was deducted. Clarity on this was not there at the time and was the only other negative.
Another successful night in what looked to be a sold out 3Arena, should mean the promotion return to the emerald isle soon. Although one before the new year is a doubt, early 2020 is hopefully on the cards.
Following the busy night for Bellator, the matchmaker has a tough job ahead, thinking of what fights to make next. In particular, the 3 fights that topped the night.
For James Gallagher, it’s almost impossible to predict, potentially another fight over stateside might be on the cards. The Bantamweight division has got a lot of top fighters and someone along the lines of Erick Perez would be a fantastic step up and quite a fun fight. Perez is a longterm veteran with mountains of experience. After showing what he can do against a significantly heavier and experienced fighter like Salazar it wouldn’t be a bad shout.
MVP is already announced for Bellator’s return to London but without an opponent. While he called for Douglas Lima to rematch him, that seems unlikely for now. However, a bout with someone along the lines of Lorenz Larkin or Andrey Koreshkov would be a high-level main event. Rematching Paul Daley is also an option and would make sense since fans were UK fans were robbed of that domestic fight the last time. However, considering how that fight played out, it may be unlikely.
Then there’s Peter Queally, who’s options limitless onsidering he is willing to fight at 155lbs and 170lbs. He’s calling for Chris Bungard with a while now, so there’s that possibility which seems fairly likely at the moment, that could be a good one for that London card which is already stacking up.
Photo credit: Bellator MMA/ Lee Hamilton- Cooper
University of Limerick Economics and Finance Graduate. Editor for MMA Latest News and contributor to MMA Viking also featured on IMMAF, Fox Sports Asia, FanSided MMA and MMA-Today.