Sunday, July 31, 2011

Dream and Bellator are "Building a Good Relationship"

On the anti-Zuffa front...

Dream event producer and matchmaker Keiichi Sasahara revealed that Dream and Bellator are developing a "relationship".

N.O.B. has it covered:
"DREAM EP Sasahara said at today’s presser that DREAM are building a good relationship with Bellator FC so expect some fighters being sent from both sides to the other from now on."
Dream's parent company Fighting and Entertainment Group has a history of alliances and co-promoted events. They have worked with now defunct promotions Elite XC and Sengoku, as well as M-1 Global and Strikeforce.

The Strikeforce-Dream alliance brought forth the exchange of fighters like Nate Diaz, Shinya Aoki, Tatsuya Kawajiri, and Marius Zaromskis. However, Zuffa's March purchase of Strikeforce sent the -Strikeforce-Dream alliance swirling down the toilet.

Now it looks like Dream is forming a new U.S. alliance with Bellator. The relationship might be perfect timing for FEG, who just this past week sold their K-1 kickboxing rights to Barbizon, a luxury real estate company. So, the load is a bit lighter for FEG, and they should be able to better focus solely on their mixed martial arts brand.

As for Bellator Fighting Championships, they are Viacom's #2 mixed martial arts promotion (the UFC being their #1, of course). However, with future UFC-Spike contracts looking shaky, Bellator could get promoted from the ranks of standard definition on MTV2 to prime time slots on America's most popular male-marketed television channel.

Whenever you speak Bellator and Dream in the same breath, one name that's likely to pop up is Eddie Alvarez. Alvarez is the reigning Bellator Lightweight Champion and former Dream 2008 Lighweight Grand Prix finalist (Alvarez was forced to drop from the Dream LW GP with an eye injury, Joachim Hansen replaced him, facing Aoki in the final round. Aoki won and remains the Dream LW champ). It would be interesting to see if Alvarez is ever exchanged to fight in Dream again. Moreover, will Alvarez and Aoki, or whoever the Dream-Bellator champions are at the time, fight in dual Dream-Bellator title fights? Hmm???

I'm driven to believe that Rob McCullough's appearance on September's Dream 17 card is actually the first Dream-Bellator fighter exchange. McCullough is slated to face Dream Lightweight Champion Shinya Aoki in a non-title contest. McCullough signed with Bellator in October 2010. He was knocked out by Patricky Freire in the open round of the Bellator Season 4 Lightweight Tournament.

This could turn out to be a successful relationship if rolled out effectively.

Updates as they come...

No comments:

Post a Comment