The annual Bellator MMA Summer Series was the usual two events that took place over two events in June and July and had its’ share of good matches as well as shockers. In fact, the whole direction of the promotion has changed because of the transitions during the summer series. Because of that, the two events became a transition period which will continue into possibly next year. It was also sad in a way to see someone who was instrumental in building the promotion leave it. However, that can’t stop the wheels of progress and there are three reasons why the summer series was significant:
This didn’t take place during an actual event but it took place during the summer and as a result is a part of the summer series news. There had been a bit of friction since the buyout of Bellator by Viacom and it finally came to a head when CEO Bjorn Rebney resigned. It was immediately followed by news that Strikeforce founder Scott Coker was installed as the promotions new president. Coker was later seen overseeing the second event in the summer series. Coker also announced that Bellator would scratch the tournament system and eventually the seasonal format.
Even though the tournament format is being scratched, there were still some tournaments that had to be concluded. The series had one light heavyweight tournament to determine the last contender in that division by that system. In it, Liam McGeary and Kelly Anundson both fought to the finals which will be concluded at Bellator 124 on September 12th. Two of the unfinished season 10 tournaments were also concluded during the summer series when at welterweight Andrey Koreshkov defeated Adam McDonough by decision. The middleweight tournament concluded when Brandon Halsey defeated Brett Cooper by arm bar to win.
While Coker did say that he wanted to put an emphasis on major match ups, Bellator 121 did have some major single matches, mainly in debuts. Veteran James Thompson defeated longtime Bellator mainstay Eric Prindle in his promotional debut. Also UFC veteran Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou defeated Terry Davinney in his promotional debut by a rear naked choke submission win. At Bellator 122 after the Coker transition, Karo Parisyan defeated fellow UFC veteran Phil Baroni by a technical knockout in the first round. If these fights are an example of what is to come, then there’s something to look forward to.