Bellator UFC – With the spotlight clearly on them, Bellator has made a clear proclamation; they are no longer content with being MMA’s second largest promotion – they are coming after number one.
Bellator UFC 1
First, there were the not-so-subtle jabs at the UFC. Spike President Kevin Kay opened up the Official Bellator NYC Press Conference yesterday with a couple pokes at the worldwide leader in MMA – the UFC.
“I’d like to thank you all for joining us here today at Viacom Headquarters… only ten blocks from Madison Square Garden, the world’s most famous arena, and the site for the biggest event in Bellator history and the most highly anticipated mixed martial arts card of the year.”
By stating that Bellator NYC is the most highly anticipated mixed martial arts card of the year, Kay is clearly taking a jab at the UFC. The UFC has put on 16 shows so far in 2017 and Kay’s assertion that this is the most anticipated clearly intends to elevate the brand of Bellator as a legitimate contender and threat to the throne that the UFC sits on.
Bellator UFC 2
Kay continues, “If you look around here you’ll see we have all mixed martial artists, there are no boxers.”
Now this is a clear shot at the upcoming and highly anticipated McGregor-Mayweather showdown. While this is a highly anticipated fight, Kay is pointing out that the attention that the UFC is getting currently is NOT in the sport of Mixed Martial Arts, but instead is taking place in the world of boxing.
Bellator UFC 3
Kay went on to state that Scott Coker is the best promoter in the business, another clear jab at the UFC and Dana White, who has built the UFC brand into what it is today.
But Kay did not stop there. “I’d also like to point out that Viacom is a New York-based company. We are literally thousands of employees here in New York. We have employees all over the world but we’re proud to be a New York company, not a Las Vegas company.”
Now this particular “jab” is more of a stretch, as it appeals only to the local crowd for this event and not the industry as a whole. While we all love to support our local companies, it does not stop us from checking out what Wal-Mart has to offer from time to time.
Bellator UFC 4
Kay later went on to state that Bellator also has “the best announcing team in the sport”, another reference to the UFC and Bellator’s recent acquisition of Mike Goldberg, who was surprising let go by the UFC following UFC 207 in December of 2016.
It did not just stop with Kay though. Additional comments were made by both Coker, as well as Mitrione, that clearly set a feeling that Bellator was ready to declare war on the UFC.
Now we will see if they can put up a fight. Bellator UFC