The final season of Bellator MMA was a good one under the leadership of Scott Coker and it looks like Bellator maybe a legitimate promotion. Several changes were implemented for this final season which could be seen as a transitional period. However, they seem to be making a difference for the better which is why Coker was hired. The changes can be looked upon in three basic categories along the way with all of the current developments taking place. With all of that said here is the review of the last season of Bellator MMA in the previous format:
End of the Tournament Format
It was a season in that weekly events took place but there were no season long tournaments. Coker wanted to concentrate on a normal match making format as part of the overhaul. At the same time all of the tournaments that were to be concluded had their finals matches during the season to honor those final title shots. There were only two such tournament finals that took place which were the 2014 Summer Series Tournament and the Season 10 Lightweight Tournament. The former commitment is being honored at Bellator 133 when winner Liam McGeary challenges Emanuel Newton for the light heavyweight title.
Partnerships and Controversies
There were positives but there were also some negative developments this season. The first negative development was the fallout of Bellator 127 when four fighters tested positive for banned substances. Second was the controversy caused by Tito Ortiz leading up to his fight with Stephan Bonnar and afterwards that led to a fine.
However, a positive development was the partnership between Bellator and Monster Energy that led to fights held at the 2014 Monster Energy Cup. It was just unfortunate that such a positive development had to be overshadowed by several negative incidents.
Debuts, matches and big names
This season saw the debuts of several big name veterans to the promotion. Big names included pro wrestler Bobby Lashley, women’s MMA pioneer Marloes Coenen, original TUF Finalist Bonnar, and kick boxers Melvin Manhoef and Joe Schilling. Other notable matches included the featherweight title fight between Pat Curran and Patricio Freire, and the bantamweight title fight between Joe Warren and Eduarto Dantes. In one of the most shocking developments of the season was the news that MMA legend Royce Gracie signed on with Bellator as a brand ambassador. Wanderlei Silva almost joined the support but was blocked by contract.