Most MMA enthusiasts around the country who turned in to FOX Sports Net this past Thursday, or one of its regional affiliates, quickly realized almost none of the channels were carrying the Bellator 32 broadcast live but instead had replays scheduled for later Thursday evening in some regions, a fact disappointing fight-fans hoping to catch live championship action.
Many Bellator fans have seen the live show preempted by local sports in the past but with Thursday’s overall sports schedule having minimal events and the sports with events were for the most part covered by other networks, fans can only wonder why their demographic was overlooked. Since Bellator Fighting Championships made its FOX Sports Net debut as FSN’s highest-rated national program on both Thursday and Sunday nights, it should come as a surprise all but two FSN affiliates did not opt to carry the LIVE Bellator 32 Event from Kansas City, MO., which featured two championship fights.
During the Bellator 33 media conference call, Bellator founder and CEO Bjorn Rebney said he missed his very first Bellator card due to the fact that he and his staff were hard at work to put together a new network deal to cover Bellator’s Season 5 tournament. Hopefully, these developments will serve as the next platform for the young promotion which has a strong foundation on which to build their programming upon. With proven increased viewership and quality production, it seems Rebney should be able to secure a mutually beneficial deal.
For people lucky enough to catch a replay or who were lucky enough to tune into live action, Bellator 32 in Kansas City provided the crowning of the promotion’s inaugural bantamweight and heavyweight champions. Zack Makovsky defeated Ed West by going the distance to a unanimous decision. Cole Konrad (7-0) submitted Neil Grove (10-3-1) with a keylock with seconds left in the first round. This marked the first finish for Konrad, who had been pilling up decision victories since entering Bellator.
Only time will tell if the next and one of the biggest cards in Bellator’s history, Bellator 33, which boasts a lightweight Super-Fight between Bellator 155-pound champ Eddie Alverez and MMA veteran Roger Huerta will be preempted for other programming…the MMA community will no doubt be keeping their fingers crossed in the meantime!
Bellator Fighting Championship 32
Main Card Results:
Heavyweight World Championship Fight
Cole Konrad def. Neil Grove via keylock submission – Round 1, 4:45
Bantamweight World Championship Fight
Zack Makovsky def. Ed West by Unanimous Decision (50-45, 50-45, 49-46)
Welterweight Special Feature Fight
Jim Wallhead def. Ryan Thomas by Unanimous Decision (29-28,29-28, 29-28).
Catchweight Special Feature Fight
Michael Chandler def. Chris Page via guillotine choke submission – Round 1, 0:57
Local Feature Fights:
Eric Marriott def. Ryan Roberts via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)
Rudy Bears def. Chad Reiner via KO – Round 1, 1:29.
Jared Downing def. Danny Tims via split decision (30-27, 28-29, 30-27)
Brian Davidson def. Shane Hutchison via KO – Round 1, 0:54