Bellator’s Season Eight: Started with a Bang, Now Fading into Memory Sal DeRose March 25, 2013 News Bellator had all the potential in the world to have a fully successful season with the big move to Spike TV. It had all the momentum going early on. Then, it fizzled. In the last two events, Bellator hasn’t pulled in more than its seasonal average of 789,770 viewers. Although the 700 thousand-plus that Bellator drew in isn’t anything to scoff at, the cards weren’t headlined by anyone significant that could pull the casual fan and the promotion’s top fighters have been defeated by lesser-known opponents. The start to the season was great. Bellator did fantastic numbers, pulling in 938,000 viewers. The event was carried by a stacked main card that featured two light heavyweight quarterfinals, a featherweight title fight between champion Pat Curran and Patricio Friere and a lightweight title fight between Michael Chandler and Rick Hawn. With only two events before the end of the season, Bellator needs to regain the momentum it started with to pull in some big numbers to end the first season on Spike. Now fighting with college basketball’s “March Madness,” Bellator needs to break out the big guns and add some marquee fights in its final two cards. Last week’s Bellator 93 had great finishes, and in fact was stacked with them from head to toe. But this all means nothing if there aren’t plenty of eyes on the fights. It’s like the saying, “If a tree falls in the woods and nobody is around, does it make a sound?” Bellator 93’s results should bring some more eyes to the ensuing cards, especially the preliminary cards that almost never have a significant draw for the casual fan. Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal could have surely helped with that, but now that he was eliminated in convincing fashion in the light heavyweight semifinals, it puts Bellator in a tough position. This isn’t just from a name point-of-view, but also due to the hype the promotion surrounded him with entering this season, which was unfathomable for a promotion like Bellator. Bellator pushed Lawal hard last season with appearances for WWE counterpart TNA, and heavily promoted him through interviews and commercials leading up to his season-eight appearance. Now, though, Bellator has lost the big name it pushed and has two fighters in its light heavyweight finals that haven’t received even a fraction of the attention that Lawal did. The casual eyeball might not be drawn to an Emanuel Newton versus Mikhail Zayats final, and therefore the event might see less viewers. The numbers aren’t bad for Bellator on Spike, especially since this is the first season the two entities have worked together. At this point though, Bellator should have been building off its season debut, ending the season on a high note. Lately, though, it seems as if the attention shown towards Bellator is dying, and with its big names not gracing the final couple of cards, it could leave Bellator struggling to rebuild momentum for next season. Photo: Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal (Dave Mandel/Sherdog) Robby Collins When Bellator has a week of big finishes, those fight videos get around on the internet and the next week the numbers go up. Unfortunately, they haven’t been able to produce back-to-back weeks of exciting finishes.