A double-edged sword is “something that causes both advantages and problems” and the current tournament format by Bellator fits that description perfectly. While the tournaments are highly entertaining and place the fate of the fighters in their own hands, winning comes at a price.
Take the current Bellator Bantamweight champion Zack Makovsky (13-2) for example. In his quest to become the promotions first ever Bantamweight champion, he fought six times in 2010. Since defeating Ed West at Bellator 32 for the Bantamweight title, Makovsky has only seen the circular Bellator cage once. Lucky for Makovsky he’ll be making his second non-title fight at this weekend’s Bellator 54, exactly one year since winning the title.
“I’m not crazy about it,” said Makovsky of the long layoff. “I would like to fight more if I had my choice but I think it comes with the territory with Bellator. Hopefully as the company grows it will become bigger and have more shows and move opportunities to fight.”
With eight Bellator champions that have a total of just two title defenses, it does in fact come with the territory.
“I don’t like non-title fights but if I had to wait for a tournament champion before I fought I would have had zero fights this year. If you want to compete as much as you can you need to fight these non-title fights, it’s a necessity at this point,” proclaimed Makovsky.
That necessary non-title fight this Saturday will be against the veteran Ryan Roberts (16-9-1) who has fought against the likes of Donald Cerrone, Marcus Aurelio and Duane Ludwig in his career. While he might have lost all three of those fights, Roberts is a very experienced fighter looking to become the first fighter to defeat a Bellator champion in a non-title fight.
“I’ve only seen two of his fight but I know he has been fighting for a long time. He has a lot of experience and has fought at the highest level in Bellator and the UFC. I think he is pretty good at everything but not great at anything and I’d give myself the advantage in every area,” explained Makovsky.
All this talk of non-title fights, there is some good news out there as Bellator’s fifth season does include a Bantamweight tournament. Fighters Alexis Vila, Eduardo Dantas, Marcos Galvao and Ed West have all advanced to the semifinals and baring any injuries, Makovsky’s next bout should be against one of those three in his first defense of Bellator’s Bantamweight championship belt.