Phil Davis to Bellator: Viacom beginning to flex it’s muscles?

Coker_Davis_Bellator_UFC_150There’s no question that right now the UFC is the premier MMA promotion. It’s got the best fighters, the biggest live events and pay-per-views and the most fans.

However, if history has shown us anything, it’s shown us that even the most popular business is vulnerable to a bigger competitor. You might not think of Bellator as a bigger competitor to the UFC, but when Viacom bought it, that’s exactly what it became.

Viacom is huge and even with the UFC’s recent deals with Fox and Reebok, it’s parent company’s (Zuffa) footprint is small in comparison.

Until now, Bellator/Viacom has been building a new type of competition from it’s tournament days, under new President (and former Strikeforce President) Scott Coker, and grabbing aging UFC vets when it can.

Tito Ortiz, Rampage Jackson, Joey Beltran, Stephan Bonnar, Kendall Grove, Cheik Kongo, LaVar Johnson and others are either well past their prime or have been exposed in the UFC for having significant weaknesses. But their names have brought Bellator it’s best ratings to date.

The signing of Phil “Mr. Wonderful” Davis could be the beginning of a significant change in their philosophy. Top-tier talent in the prime of their careers with major name recognition would step up Bellator’s profile in a massive way.

Davis has revealed that his offer from Bellator was the most lucrative, and that he offered matching opportunity to the UFC and they decided not to match. If Viacom decides to make some aggressive moves, it could offer unmatchable contracts to many of the UFC’s top talents as they come off of contract.

Things are getting exciting outside of the cage in pro MMA!