So Bellator 277 didn't quite end the way most of us expected. In more ways than some of you might think actually.
Not only did A.J. McKee suffer his first loss in a fight many people thought he won. The fight wasn't nearly as exciting as many of us had hoped for also. It doesn't help that the Nemkov vs Anderson fight ended up as a No Contest. Needless to say the event was a bit disappointing.
The real question is what happens now?
What does this mean for Bellator's golden boy? A.J. McKee has spent the last month claiming he is the best Bantamweight on the planet. I scored it 3 Rounds to 2 for McKee but expected it to be a Split decision victory that could go either way. Our recent interview with Ben "Big Tuna" Parrish helped shed some light on why judges get it so wrong some times.
A.J. McKee has also began the renegotiating process for his next contract. Undefeated before this fight he estimated his value at 1 million dollars per fight. Rumour has it Bellator was offering half that. What is A.J. Mckee's value now?
Given the controversy surrounding the Unanimous decision loss in this last fight. A.J. McKee is sure to argue that he still believes that he is the best Bantamweight on the planet and didn't actually lose that fight. I scored it 3 Rounds to 2 for A.J. McKee. Whether you believe that or not doesn't matter. What matters is that technically he is no longer undefeated. The mystique that goes along with that is gone. Therefore some of his market value is diminished as well. So does this mean that his true value is closer to what Bellator is offering now.
This is how Conspiracy theories begin!
Fixed fights are nothing new. It's been happening since the first prize fights began. There are many reasons to fix a fight. There are also many ways to fix a fight also. Promoters will match up their best fighters with easy opponents to pad their records. Gamblers will have the occasional favourite take a dive to secure a massive pay day. Those a the most common ways and reasons for fixing a fight. A somewhat lesser known reason and method for fixing a fight is to pay off a fight official (referee or judge) to help influence who wins a fight in order to increase or decrease a fighter's value.
Could that have happened here?
An A.J. McKee loss means a move to the UFC is less likely, or at least less expensive for them to sign. It means Bellator has another reason to not meet his demand of 1 million per fight. It means that Bellator has the makings of a potentially very lucrative trilogy fight while A.J. McKee is still under contract. They also have the opportunity to prevent him from fighting for a title so if he refuses to resign with them they don't have to worry about having a false Champion.
Now lets say Bellator is able to sign A.J. Mckee to an 8 fight deal for $600,000 per fight due to this loss. That's a savings of 3.2 million dollars. How much do you think it would cost to buy 3 judges? What if the UFC already now that A.J. McKee plans to sign with them. How much would they save now that his record is tarnished? Can they afford to put the fix in?
Now I'm not saying that this fight was fixed. All I'm saying is that A.J. McKee's loss to Pitbull is going to potentially save one of the top two organizations in MMA a lot of money.
What do you think?