Bellator is taking their bite of the Big Apple in June
Mark your calendars New York mixed martial arts (MMA) fans. June 24 Bellator is bringing their first event to New York City in Madison Square Garden. The headliners will be “The American Gangster” Chael Sonnen (28-15-1), and Wanderlei Silva (35-12-1-1NC). Bellator 180 will also be Bellator’s return to pay-per-view when they step into the world's most famous arena.
New York has shown a lot of love to MMA when promotions made their debut in the state after the ban was lifted on the sport in 2016. The UFC broke records in November with UFC 205, WSOF had their highest rated event on New Year’s Eve, and now Bellator is coming to set their first New York numbers.
It was said before that when the promotion makes their move to New York, they would want to come big. Sonnen and Silva were both supposed to fight when they were signed to the UFC but it never happened. The two have history and unsettled business that was well documented for The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil 3 so, there's enough beef to sell that fight.
However with New York being new to the sport there has to be some concern bringing this fight to Madison Square Garden. Remember if the New York State Athletic Commission pulls a fight they're not keen on last minute replacements. Remember Tim Kennedy was left without an opponent for UFC 205 when Rashad Evans was pulled from the card for an irregularity in his medicals.
With that in mind and this being their return to pay-per-view, how stacked can they make this card?
Already, newly signed Ryan Bader is looking to face light heavyweight champion Phil Davis.
However, former champion Liam McGeary is also looking for a rematch and is resident of New York that trains under the Renzo Gracie academy right in New York City.
One fight that would be sure to draw fans out would be the Fedor Emelianenko versus Matt Mitrione bout that fell through back in February when Mitrione fell ill hours before the event. The New York Post has already confirmed that bout will also be added to Bellator 180.
As June draws near, Bellator will likely announce more bouts for Bellator 180, their first show in New York.
Who else would you like to see on this card?
Feature Image: Bellator MMA