Bellator 120 PPV Numbers Estimated At 65,000 Buys

Bellator MMA was dealt a bad hand heading into their first pay-per-view (PPV) event of Bellator 120 from the Landers Center in Southaven, Mississippi on May 17.

Headlining lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez was forced out of his awaited trilogy match with former champion Michael Chandler due to a concussion, leaving the promotion with no choice but to book the previous co-headliner of Quinton “Rampage” Jackson vs. Muhammed Lawal in the main event.

Will Brooks won a useless interim strap from Chandler in the new co-main event, but the promotion is already talking about booking Alvarez vs. Chandler III despite the upset.

Former UFC light heavyweight champ Tito Ortiz also made his Bellator debut by starching a much smaller man in middleweight champion Alexander Shlemenko, who should probably fighting at welterweight.

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All that added up to a forecast of mediocre-at-best PPV numbers for the event, and today, that has reportedly been confirmed. Initial numbers, according to Dave Meltzer (via Fight Opinion) have the first Bellator PPV hauling in around 65,000 buys:

Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney went on record as saying he never considered putting the card back on Spike TV, noting that it was “too stacked” to air anywhere other than PPV. While that’s highly up for debate, the promotion obviously has some work to do before they ask their fans to shell out their hard-earned dollars for a night of fights they could have potentially seen for free.

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Alvarez vs. Chandler II was their biggest moneymaker, but the fight lost most of its luster when Chandler lost to Brooks. Still, it’s in Alvarez’ contract to fight Chandler again, and Bellator is apparently headed in that direction.

They’ve also hinted at another PPV card in the near future whenever Rebney thinks that have another “stacked” lineup available.

But with these numbers for their first PPV card and not many top-level bouts available for them to stuff on a pay card, is that really the best course of action for MMA’s second promotion?