After a hot start, September has not been good to the Bellator Fighting Championships.
The promotion's first September event, Bellator 27, held Sept. 2 in San Antonio, saw Joe Warren stage a dramatic comeback to knock out Joe Soto to become the Bellator featherweight champion in the company's first ever title defense.
But after that, the wheels fell off. Bellator 28 on Sept. 9 in New Orleans saw the company go head-to-head with the New Orleans Saints season-opening game with Minnesota.
After holding two pedestrian cards in Bellator 29 and 30 the last two weeks, this week's Bellator 31 has to go up against "WEC 51: Aldo vs. Gamburyan," a show that will feature Jose Aldo defending his WEC featherweight title against Manny Gamburyan and a long-awaited grudge rematch between Jamie Varner and Donald Cerrone, not to mention the return of one of the company's best draws in Miguel Torres. Naturally, this is the WEC's first Thursday card, as it makes the move from Wednesday to Thursday for the first time for its shows during football season.
Even though Bellator's card should be good — it features the semifinals of the promotion's 115-pound women's tournament — it likely will get slaughtered by the WEC show which features Aldo's first fight since dominating Urijah Faber in April.
Bellator just needs to get to October, a month which should go a better. Bellator 33 on Oct. 21 is scheduled to feature what likely is the biggest fight in company history when Eddie Alvarez faces Roger Huerta. The show also will see Lyman Good defend his welterweight title against Ben Askren. The following week, Hector Lombard is scheduled to defend his middleweight title for the first time against Alexander Shlemenko.
For Bellator, September 2010 will not be a month to remember. Whether it's the promotion's own fault (scheduling a show in the same city on the same day at the same time as the NFL season opener) or not (WEC moving to Thursday), Bellator will need to look at this month and try not to have a repeat of it in the future.