Bellator Bringing Pay-Per-View Show to New York
The UFC is not the only MMA promotion that will be putting on pay-per-view shows in 2017. Bellator will be coming to New York City on June 24, according to a report by the Associated Press, and the Madison Square Garden event will be headlined by Chael Sonnen’s long-awaited grudge match with Wanderlei Silva.
No other fights have been announced for Bellator 180 yet, but the card is expected to be filled with Bellator’s highest-profile fighters and recently signed free agents.
Bellator 180 will be only the second show in the promotion’s history to be aired on pay-per-view. The first took place in May of 2014, before Scott Coker took over the company.
Sonnen made his Bellator debut earlier this year, losing to Tito Ortiz by first-round submission. Silva has yet to fight under the Bellator banner, but a fight against Sonnen has been hyped since Sonnen signed with Bellator late last year.
"I’ve watched how hard Bellator has worked and how they’ve stuck through it, and I think they belong on pay-per-view," Sonnen told the AP. "After a I joined up, I was stunned that Bellator was packing houses from the East Coast to the West Coast. They’ve got a great product, and it just seemed like the next logical step was going into pay-per-view."
With the UFC’s top stars (McGregor, Jones, Rousey, St. Pierre) inactive for a variety of reasons, Bellator will look to insert themselves into the pay-per-view game before the UFC’s International Fight Week lineup in July.
"I think (Bellator 180) will be the most exciting fight card in MMA this year so far," Coker said. "I mean, who knows what’s going to happen before the end of the year, but I think this is going to be the biggest fight card put together by any company so far in the pay-per-view business, and we feel really good about it."