BellatorMMA's inaugural pay per view took a hit as Eddie Alvarez was forced out of his scheduled title defense bout against LW kingpin Michael Chandler. Yet with the loss the PPV still remains a really good card. Word has come out that Volkov vs Ivanov has been bumped up to the PPV making this an even more exciting card. I'll lay out the reasoning bout by bout
Main Event: Rampage vs King Mo. It's a grude match years in the making. This fight had to happen. It's one of the biggest LHW fights that can be made in Bellator and MMA in general. It should have happened years ago but couldn't it's one of the biggest just cause the history behind it and they are name fighters on win streaks. It certainly lost some of its excitement over the years but it's happening now like it should have a while ago.
Co-main event: Interim LW Title Fight Michael Chandler vs Will Brooks- Michael Chandler is top 4 LW in the world right now. You can argue to place him anywhere from 1-4 in the world, there's no denying it. Where his place is, is up to debate but he is one of the very best and a very exciting fighter. Will Brooks is a serious prospect. He isn't on Chandlers level I don't think but he has some serious wins on his record and only one defeat. He wrestled his way through the tourney just to secure the title shot. Not the best way to make fans but it worked. He posses all the tools needed to excel in this sport, He'll put up a fight, but Ultimately it's Michael fuckin Chandler we're talking about here so expect some beautiful destruction.
Alexander Shlemenko vs Tito Ortiz: Like it or not Tito is a draw, he fights everyone he's a legend, even with all his recent losses in the UFC they have all been on PPV. You guys ate it up too. He's strictly a PPV guy in Bellator as well. Storm is one of the best fighters in the world in ANY weight division. He's the face of Russian MMA right now. You think of top Russian fighters you think him, Fedor, Minakov, ect. But when Fedor retired he passed the torch to Storm.
This fight is interesting because storms weakest point is his TDD. He has good BJJ but against elite wrestlers he's susceptible to be put on his back. This is a three round fight and Storm is a small MW and giving up a lot of weight, theres a good chance tito can grind out a decision if need be, which brings up a lot of intrigue. That said in his Interview for whatever reason Tito thinks he can strike with Storm and with his recent stoppage losses due to body strikes and that being Storms forte this could get ugly.
HW Final: Alexander Volkov vs Blagoi Ivanov- It's HW action, everybody loves to see it for whatever reason. Blagoi has an incredible story, He defeated PRIME Fedor in Sambo, afterwards he was stabbed in the heart and lungs by some punk guys from the streets and was was supposed to die, was in a coma lost an incredible amount of muscle, and weight and somehow survived got up and walking again and wanted to get right back in the cage. He is still undefeated with wins over UFC/Strikeforce vet Lavar Johnson, and former Bellator HW #1 contender Rich Hale. Blagoi is a top 15 HW in the world right now. His opponent Former Bellator HW champion Alexander Volkov. The man has crazy power. He's a top 10 HW in the world right now he can really beat anybody. This will be an insane fight it's can't miss must watch MMA!
and the final bout which doesn't get enough credit Michael "Venom' Page vs Ricky Rainey. You wanna talk about Matt Brown vs Eric Silva? That's it right here. Both incredible strikers. Ricky Rainey was highly touted an amazing striker and really improving his all around game. His only losses are to johnny buck and a bs split decision to Dheigo Lima. (It should be noted he was destroying Buck but got cocky and got caught. he has learned a lot from that fight destroying all his opponents since) Ricky Rainey is extremely confident and ready to bang training with wonderboy to prepare for the awkward and explosive striking of 'MVP". 'Venom' is a kickboxing champ and has mastered a lot of martial arts. He's a highly touted prospect out of London and has destroyed people with his nasty striking and insane power. He can hit you from anywhere, it has bangfest written all over it. These are two of the best prospects and strikers at 170lbs right now. It's going to be a crazy fight!
Any true MMA fan will see the actual worth in this card. It was PPV worthy even when eddie dropped out bumping up Volkov vs Ivanov just put it over the top, just about as exciting as the original card. Plus there's some great fights on the spike prelims you are getting for free. Excellent fights, excellent value, much lower than any UFC ppv and not watered down either.