It’s not news the both Bellator Fighting Championships and the World Series of Fighting (WSOF) take a back seat to the world’s premiere Mixed Martial Arts Organization, the UFC. Many believe that, if they had to be ranked, Bellator would be the #2 oraganiztion in the world, mostly due to the fact that it has been around longer than the WSOF. With that being said, the WSOF has made leaps and bounds in its quest to become a major player within the MMA promotion world and, though it might be slow progress, it has been nothing but uphill for the WSOF.
Both these organizations have their stars, Bellator has focused on making a point to ‘homegrow’ their stars, building them up within the organization to become household names that are respected in the MMA community. WSOF has done the same, but have also benefited from the recent release of many talented UFC fighters who they have signed and booked for fights. Both Bellator and WSOF announced recent matchups in which a former UFC fighter is taking one of their more homegrown fighters, though, both matchups don’t seem to make the most sense.
The World Series of Fighting has announced that one of their biggest names in Jake Shields will take on a much less popular fighter in Ryan Ford. Of the two matchups, this is the less outrageous one. Ryan Ford is a legit contender, having won his last six fights. But Jake Shields used to be ranked at #2 in the UFC, fought for a title, and was still ranked in the top 10 of the division when he was cut from the UFC. On paper, this fight is hugely one sided in favor of Shields. Ford has an impressive 20 finishes in 22 wins, but he simply has not fought anyone near the skill of Shields. This is a huge step down in talent for Shields who most recently fought Hector Lombard. Pairing these two together for a main event slot reflects more on the lack of depth in the WSOF roster, rather than bad match making, though.
The second fight announced is for Bellator’s light heavyweight title, pitting current champion, Emanuel Newton against–wait for it–Joey ‘The Mexicutioner’ Beltran. Wait, what? Yes, Joey Beltran, who is 2-8 in his last 10 fights and a failed drug test to boot is Bellator’s light heavyweight #1 contender. The problem with Bellator and it’s light heavyweight division is it’s astounding, almost un-promotable 205 pound division. To be fair, it’s not all Bellator’s fault as their biggest star Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson has simply declined the title fight, Tito Ortiz’s last and only Bellator win was against a middleweight, ‘King Mo’ has lost twice to Newton, and the rest of the short list of possible contenders are all booked. So, yes, that fight is going to serve as the main event for Bellator 124.
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