Friday was a great day for the Bellator promotion. They swept the board at the event, going 5-0 against Rizin’s stars. Former Bellator Featherweight Champion AJ McKee in particular was highlighted by Bellator President Scott Coker as the promotional MVP.
The event took place at the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan on New Year’s Eve. Due to the time difference, the event took place early in the morning for US viewers. It was ultimately aired on tape delay by Showtime, Bellator’s usual TV partner for broadcasting.
Despite the keen interest in a major crossover show, Bellator and Rizin’s efforts didn’t garner much mainstream attention. According to Brendan Schaub on his Thiccc Boy podcast, there’s at least one obvious reason why.
Brendan Schaub Believes The Live Event Needed To Be More “Accessible” To US Fans
The live event was not available to US viewers. Despite the troublesome time difference, Schaub was quick to point out that the lack of promotion or live coverage for the event hindered it.
“The problem with this, with Bellator/Rizin, it wasn’t put on during American time,” Schaub explained. “There’s really nowhere to watch it when it was going on live. I mean, we woke up I think at 4am to watch it live. But I don’t think it was available on like Showtime live… The other thing is, just put it on so the American fanbase, if you care about that, it makes it more accessible.”
Schaub also discussed the chances of the UFC ever committing to a crossover show in the future. Ultimately, both he and his co-host agreed that, due to the UFC’s dominant hold on the MMA market, they have no reason to get involved with such events.
For shows such as Bellator MMA vs. Rizin FF to reach their full success potential, more will need to be done to reach a wider audience. As Schaub suggested, making the live show more easily accessible and well-advertised to US viewers could be a good start.
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