Bellator’s match output could perchance receive been curtailed during the COVID-19 pandemic, nonetheless the enforced scaling again of their schedule gave the promotion time to head looking at programs to make stronger its offering, with the introduction of an independently-compiled rankings system the most unusual addition.
A panel of media participants has been enlisted to construct the inaugural rankings for every of Bellator’s weight courses, and these divisional lists will seemingly be continually tweaked and up up to now all year long, with the media panel registering their ranking modifications after every match.
It’s a new addition to Bellator’s general look and in actuality feel and, in a rare interview, Bellator’s vice president of ability relations, Prosperous Chou, explained the thinking behind the switch and his hopes for the system the newly instituted system can give a boost to the general Bellator product.
“We’re chomping on the bit. I’m so mad to find going,” he said. “We’ve been working arduous on rather a few things, including the rankings system. Plenty’s been going on behind the scenes. You noticed Scott (Coker), Stephen Espinoza, and all of our fighters getting introduced a few weeks ago with that Showtime announcement, so there’s been lots going on and we valid can’t wait till April to find these fights going and conclude what we have interaction to conclude.
“Scott, a few weeks ago at that presser, he said something. He came out and made a in actuality substantial and audacious observation and that was once that this roster that we in the mean time receive is the supreme, most proficient, and deepest roster we’ve ever had, and I think that was once in actuality why we felt like now was once the time to position this ranking system collectively,” he explained. “So it in actuality valid revolved round your total amazing fighters we receive, the flexibility we receive, and the depth of the many divisions that we receive here. That was once the main reason. There’s no greater time than now.”
Chou explained that Bellator’s decision to invite media participants to be a component of the rankings panel was once resulting from the want for informed, independent, neutral opinion, that would also be in instant provide in MMA.
“It’s definite that we didn’t blueprint up with the concept of rankings – it’s now not something we invented,” he said. “But I think we took a leer at what was once obtainable, we absorbed what we felt was once priceless and would work for us, we added a few of our personal dinky touches, and on the tip of the day, I think we receive an independent panel of specialists.
“I noticed some folk asking, ‘Why the media?’ and I will’t think of a extra professional, fair neighborhood that is following what’s going on in MMA on the present time. It’s certainly now not going to be coaches and fighters doing this, so that’s why we determined to head with the media, the guys that observe this each day, that are on top of things with what’s relevant and what’s going on, now not only in MMA, nonetheless obviously in Bellator. Having an independent system with specialists on the panel, to us was once key, and I think we’ve carried out that.”
In addition to establishing the panel itself, main time was once dedicated to finalizing the factors to be traditional by these panelists when setting their rankings, with the notoriously unpredictable nature of MMA making for many discussion among the Bellator crew as they attempted to nail down a system that was once flexible, nonetheless lovely.
Explaining that the ranking standards “in actuality anticipates rather a few diversified things that could perchance happen,” Chou said that the substantial selection of on the general-unpredictable factors all needed to be taken into tale.
“From new guys coming in, to guys becoming injured for an prolonged time-frame, to guys changing weight courses, we tried to expect as distinguished as we can to originate this thing drift and originate sense and be lovely for everyone involved,” he explained. “I valid wanted everyone to know that we in actuality took our time and labored arduous to position this thing collectively, and we in actuality feel we’ve obtained the supreme panel that you’ll want to well perchance think of. With these things, we in actuality feel very valid about it. I will’t wait to find this thing going.”
Whereas the intention of the rankings is to provide bigger readability on the set the fighters stand in every weight class, Chou additionally acknowledged that it could well truly perchance on occasion originate his job slightly of trickier.
“Some days, or after some occasions, when new rankings blueprint out, it’ll originate it more straightforward. Other instances it’ll originate it slightly of trickier. But collectively, we receive rather a few expertise on this aspect,” he said. “The instinct we’ve developed over the years will valid relieve us and information us during the difficult situations. So we’re ready for it all. Certain, there are some challenges for the duration of the nook here, nonetheless we’ll be ready for them and, look, on the tip of the day, we would like to present the followers the supreme fights that you’ll want to well perchance think of.
“I’m looking forward (to it), namely with this initial ranking coming up in a few weeks, I’m unfamiliar to head looking. I’m going to be online that day, for optimistic, and I’m certain we’ll be tagged in all these feedback and messages from fighters and followers and, rather honestly, that’s very exciting. I think that’s going to be rather a few stress-free valid to begin this new conversation here at Bellator with our followers, with our fighters, and valid receive stress-free with it.”
With new broadcast provides in popularity in the U.S. and the U.K., Bellator’s 2021 schedule kicks into high equipment in April with the begin of the promotion’s gentle heavyweight sizable prix, and Chou said he’s mad to find things rolling as he and his crew look to position on a bunch of exciting fights for the followers through 2021 and beyond.
“It does in actuality feel like kind of this new chapter, with Showtime and this new expertise with this new matchmaking philosophy that we’ve been moving forward on,” he said. “I’m in actuality pumped to find this gentle heavyweight sizable prix going and we’ve obtained to take a seat down and survey what Scott wishes to conclude for the following one. We’ve obtained some in actuality mountainous options, some in actuality difficult divisions, and deep divisions, so which sizable prix will we begin next?
“Honest getting again on Showtime, valid getting the band again collectively, (it’s) a in actuality acquainted, stress-free feeling that has everyone mad and certainly including us. We’re valid in a position to retain putting on mountainous fights. We’ve obtained a few tricks up our sleeve that I will’t in actuality discuss about rather but, nonetheless that’s the title of the game, strive and retain the followers engaged by putting on the supreme fights, and occasionally throw you guys dinky shock.”
To admire the fats interview with Chou, test out the video below.