The Tyrannosaurus Rex, meteors, hot chicks and bacon-infused milkshakes. No, these aren’t things that will be found in the hotel room if they ever make a Hangover 4. These are the items that Bellator used this past Friday night in the pre-fight hype video for the Eric Prindle and James Thompson fight.

All of those items are amazing—trust me, I’ve had a bacon milkshake before. But this video was even better. It was the greatest hype video in the history of mixed martial arts. It wasn’t a tear-jerking emotional story or even a great back-story between two fighters who have a lot of animosity between them. It was what it was.

Bellator was criticized for making this fight in the beginning. It was originally slated as the headliner for Bellator 121 after an injury forced Pat Curran out of his featherweight title defense against Patricio Freire. Bellator ultimately went with one of the light heavyweight tournament quarterfinals as the main event, but fans certainly knew about Prindle and Thompson from the advertising.

Plain and simple, this fight meant nothing. It was a heavyweight bout between two men who were fighting for relevance to even sniff the top 30 of the division. It wasn’t even a tournament bout. Nonetheless, Prindle and Thompson were probably among the three most recognizable names on the card (the third being light heavyweight Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou, who won his Bellator debut that night).

Prindle was a former Bellator tournament winner who might even be more well known for his two bouts with Thiago Santos. Both of those fights were mired in controversy because of groin strikes. Bellator even made an effort to remind us of this bit of cringeworthy history by replaying both of the fight-ending groin strikes in the hype video.

Prindle’s opponent, Thompson, is probably best known for getting his ear exploded by Kimbo Slice on network television back in the days of EliteXC. This was Thompson’s Bellator debut and there wasn’t really any past fight footage the promotion could use to hype him up, so Bellator and Spike TV went a different route. After the video showed Thompson training, “The Colossus” looked straight at the camera and promised to take Prindle’s soul.

Everything about that video was pure gold. A lot of times, promotions try to hype up fights to be the most important thing in the world. The promotion will claim that a fighter’s career and livelihood hinges on that particular bout. Everyone knows that every single fight doesn’t have the highest stakes. For once, a promotion finally embraced this.

Every fight doesn’t have to mean the world. Every fight isn’t going to be for a title or a No. 1 contender spot. Some fights are just pure fun. There was a time when MMA wasn’t on television, period, but the fact that we can now watch two extremely large men attempt to take each other’s head off on a Friday night is pretty awesome.

I think I can speak for the majority of the MMA media and fan base when I say that I wasn’t initially excited for the Prindle-Thompson showdown. Thompson was a veteran who was 15-14 by the end of 2010, and even his recent stretch of five fights without a loss came with the caveat that those wins were against the likes of Mariusz Pudzianowski, Bob Sapp and Bobby Lashley. Prindle, meanwhile, had won just one of his previous five fights. After that three-minute video masterpiece dropped earlier in the day, though, my opinion took a turn for the better. I challenge anyone to say that they didn’t at least crack a smile when watching that video, and that smile is a sign of Bellator’s success in making this a fight worth watching.

Granted, the fight didn’t turn out to be a barnburner. Quite frankly, we shouldn’t have expected it to be one. Thompson took down and pounded out “The American Soldier” in less time than it took to watch the pre-fight video. After the fight, though, Thompson got on the microphone and made everything worth it. He delivered on the promise of entertainment that came with that pre-fight video.

In an interview that the majority of viewers struggled to understand, Thompson probably made Spike TV and Bellator officials cringe and laugh their asses off at the same time. He spoke directly to Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney, and there might have been a challenge to Cheick Kongo thrown in at some point there.

There is only one thing Bellator can do with Thompson at this point. There is only one fight that will get the masses talking. There is only one fight that could probably produce a better pre-fight hype video than this. Of course, that fight is James Thompson vs. Kimbo Slice II. Chuckle if you want, but if you are a fight fan and you say you wouldn’t shell out some money to watch that fight, then you are a liar. C’mon, let’s take a lesson from Bellator. It is okay to stop taking ourselves so seriously. It’s okay to just have some fun every now and then.

About The Author

Trey Downey
Staff Writer

A Central Florida native, Trey Downey's interest in MMA came after a trip to Blockbuster and the rental of UFC 47 on VHS. He has been blogging about the sport since 2011 and hosted a podcast called The TD Experience focusing on football and MMA (touchdowns and takedowns). Trey studied radio and television at the University of Central Florida and will soon be attending the Connecticut School of Broadcasting. Trey enjoys watching sports, pro wrestling and is an avid runner.