Here is our recap of some of the current goings on in the MMA world.
Eddie Alvarez is out
Bellator just can’t catch a break. They are on the week of the promotions first pay-per-view and former BodogFight champion and current Bellator Champion Eddie Alvarez has had to pull out of his title fight with Michael Chandler because of concussions. It’s just the latest in a long line of hiccups for upstart promotion. Bellator tried to schedule a PPV last fall between former UFC light heavyweight champions Quinton “Rampage” Jackson and Tito Ortiz. Ortiz was forced to pull out forcing the event off PPV and on to Spike TV.
Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney announced that Will Brooks would replace Alvarez in the main event at Bellator 120 and then event would stay on PPV. This is a risky move by Rebney; won the season 9 lightweight final but a Brooks fight with Chandler won’t do a small fraction of the PPV numbers that the third fight of the Alvarez trilogy would have. There is so much MMA on free TV now, your main event need to be of main event quality to get people to invest in your product, unfortunately Will Brooks-Michael Chandler isn’t PPV quality.
Ben Askren is Confident
Ben Askren was working out in the Philippines as part of a 5-city promotional tour ahead of his May 30 OneFC debut against Bakhtiyar Abbasov in Singapore. He told media in attendance that Abbasov does not intimidate him. Askren is undefeated and trains with some of the best fighters in the world; Abbasov shouldn’t be much of a challenge for one of the best wrestlers in MMA. The challenge for Askren will be finishing the fight.
His contract wasn’t renewed with Bellator and he wasn’t offered a shot with the UFC despite an undefeated record. Too often Askren seems content to dominate his opponent with his superior wrestling and then wait out the clock. It’s not fun for the fans and it’s probably cost Askren a ton of money by not going to the UFC. His time in OneFC is an excellent chance for Askren to establish himself as a finisher. His opponents will be skilled but it’s doubtful they’ll be able to handle his grappling, he needs to pound some opponents into dreamland and that will raise his asking price when he decides to come back to North America.
Dominick Cruz won’t ask for a Title Shot
It’s been 2½ years since former UFC Bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz has stepped in the cage because of injuries. According to Cruz, the long road to recovery should end in 2014. Despite not losing his title in the cage, Cruz told MMAfighting.com that he wouldn’t ask for an immediate title fight.
It’s a smart move by Cruz, as much as he’d like to be champion again, he’s hasn’t fought since 2011. If Cruz were to jump in the cage with current champion Renan Barao after a 3-year layoff, it’s safe to assume the ring rust couldn’t get shook quick enough for Cruz to be triumphant. A warm up match, a title eliminator perhaps, against a top-3 Bantamweight should get him prepped.