The stage is set for Bellator MMA to invade New York City this evening as Bellator 180 and Bellator NYC go down live at Madison Square Garden.

UK MMA fans have been holding breath to hear whether they will be able to tune in to see the fights go down live and yesterday their patience was rewarded when the promotion announced that the Bellator NYC main card will be available to purchase for £14.99 on their official YouTube page.

The obvious bad news for the UK fans is that they won’t be able to watch the Bellator 180 portion of the event until Monday when it airs on Spike UK.

Unfortunately, that means both the Ryan Bader vs. Phil Davis Bellator light heavyweight title fight and SBG hot prospect James Gallagher’s fight with Chinzo Machida will not be aired live for fans to watch live in the UK, but if you’re in Ireland you’re in luck.

Bellator announced late last evening that the Bellator 180 fight card will be free for people in Ireland to watch free. Additionally, the pay-per-view portion will also be available for the price of €17.99.

What a mess…

While this is a bitter pill to swallow, the Bellator NYC main card should be an action-packed night of fights and well worth the price tag if you can stomach the 3:00 am start time.

The main event features a bout billed as one of the last remaining ‘Real grudge matches.’

The legitimacy of the feud between Chael Sonnen and Wanderlei Silva is perhaps questionable, but the entertainment that both these polar opposite MMA legends have provided cannot be doubted.

Sonnen has been on top form this week with his usual pro-wrestling antics coming to the fore on multiple occasions with ever increasing hilarity.

The former UFC title contender has the rare ability to both entertain and convince you that he will do everything in his power to irradiate the Brazilian from the face of the earth when the cage door closes.

It’s a skill lost on many fighters these days and while the art of trash talking isn’t for everyone, it’s seemingly a necessary requirement of the business

Sonnen vs. Silva probably won’t be the highest quality fight we ever see, but it will be entertaining nonetheless and several of the bouts before should give the MMA purist fans value for money.

Lorenz Larkin vs. Douglas Lima is about as good as you can get at 170-pounds, while Michael Chandler vs. Brent Primus should be a lightweight title fight that turns into an all-out war.

All this and we’ve yet to mention the long overdue return of one of the greatest to ever do it, Fedor Emelianenko.

The Russian takes on Matt Mitrione in a bout that was originally booked for Bellator 172 last February but failed to happen after the American suffered case of kidney stones just hours before the event.

Four months down the line, the two will now go toe-to-toe in arguably the grandest arena of all for combat sports.

The Bellator NYC lineup also features the professional debut of the highly touted American prospect, Aaron Pico.

The three-time national wrestling champion carries the heavy weight of expectation on his 20-year-old shoulders this evening, but Pico has taken to all this attention this week in his stride

He’s young, he’s confident and he’s got the look in his eye’s that’s he’s a future champion.

Bellator MMA have done a few things wrong this week, but unquestionably they’ve done plenty more right.

This is a massive night for Bellator in New York; let’s see if we get the big pay-off.