Bellator MMA

History

Bellator MMA is one of the world’s largest mixed martial arts promotions and is recognised as the closest competitor to the UFC. The term Bellator has its origin in Latin language which translates to ‘warrior’ in English.

Bjorn Rebney founded the company in 2008 and ran it until 2014, before departing and handing the reins to Scott Coker. Presently, the company has successfully hosted 242 numbered events. 

Scott Coker

The former Strikeforce executive made the move after his contract with Zuffa expired. Following Coker’s arrival, Bellator MMA pivoted to a more traditional North American approach to the sport. This is a departure from the organization’s tournament format during its initial phase. 

Bellator’s tournament format

Bellator MMA has played host to a variety of tournaments under its older format, with 11 seasons of Bellator Fighting Championship held in 4 years from 2009 to 2014. The tournaments saw fighters of specific weight classes compete for a shot at the divisional title. 

Also in 2013, the promotion aired a single-season series called Fight Master: Bellator MMA where Randy Couture, Frank Shamrock, Greg Jackson, and Joe Warren served as coaches. 

Like all American martial arts organizations, the rules for fights in the Bellator promotion are exactly the same with eye gouges and groin strikes deemed as illegal offenses for which fighters can incur point penalties or be disqualified. 

Along with MMA, Bellator has a kickboxing promotion which has hosted 12 events since its inception in 2016.

Some big names who are part of Bellator MMA

At present, the company is home to some of the biggest MMA names including former UFC Champions like Cris Cyborg, Frank Mir, and Lyoto Machida. Current Bellator Champions include Ryan Bader, Douglas Lima, Patricio Freire, and Ilima-Lei Macfarlane. Additionally, the promotion is home to big names such as Fedor Emelianenko, Gegard Mousasi, and Cat Zingano.

Patricio Freire after becoming a two-division Bellator MMA champion

Currently, there are 7 divisions for male fighters in Bellator. These are heavyweight, light heavyweight, middleweight, welterweight, lightweight, featherweight and bantamweight. The promotion offers 2 divisions for its female talent at Featherweight and flyweight. 

List of Champions at Bellator MMA

Bellator MMA has 5 world champions across 9 divisions. 2 fighters are double champions and 2 divisional titles are vacant at present. 

Cris Cyborg

Division Name Date Won Title Defenses
Heavyweight Ryan Bader January 26, 2019 1
Light Heavyweight Ryan Bader June 24, 2017 1
Middleweight Vacant Since February 10, 2020
Welterweight Douglas Lima October 26,2019 0
Lightweight Patricio Freire May 11, 2019 0
Featherweight Patricio Freire April 21,2017 3
Bantamweight Vacant Since November 27, 2019 0
Women’s Featherweight Cris Cyborg January 25, 2020 0
Women’s Flyweight Ilima-Lei Macfarlane November 3,2017 4

‘Symptoms Have Been Rough’ – Dillon Danis Nervous About Positive COVID Test

Dillon Danis is well known for his BJJ accomplishments and being one of Conor McGregor’s…

MMA Coaches Face Suspension After Breaking Quarantine Protocol

Two prominent Stanford coaches Henri Hooft and Greg Jones received three month suspensions following their…

Scott Cooker Invites Katie Taylor to Bellator: “Why Is It That Always the MMA Fighter Has to Go to Boxing?”

Bellator President Scott Coker is open to hosting a fight between boxing champion Katie Taylor…

“There Are Talks With Bellator and Scott Coker About Cyborg” – Eddie Hearn on Katie Taylor’s Future

Coming off a successful title defense against Miriam Gutierrez, unified lightweight champion Katie Taylor has…

Conor McGregor’s Coach And Other MMA Names React To Patricio Freire’s Brutal KO At Bellator 252

Patricio Freire stopped yet another promising featherweight contender to further assert his dominance over the…

“He Knows He’ll Never Beat Me”- Patricio Freire Slams Michael Chandler for Joining UFC

Michael Chandler is a newcomer in the UFC. However, ‘Iron’ has been a champion at…

Corey Anderson Reveals The Struggles He Faced Before Signing For Bellator: “It Makes No Sense”

Corey Anderson has joined a long list of fighters to have left the UFC in…

WATCH: Former UFC Fighter Corey Anderson Dominates Opponent on His Bellator Debut

Corey Anderson has started his Bellator career in the right way. ‘Overtime’ pulled off a…

AEW Superstar Jake Hager Stays Unbeaten in MMA After Gruelling Battle at Bellator 250

AEW’s Jake Hager maintained his undefeated streak in MMA. Hager beat Brandon Calton to take…

Jorge Masvidal Gives His ATT Teammate Sabah Homasi a Massive Shout-Out After His Finish at Bellator 250

UFC welterweight Jorge Masvidal took to Twitter and gave a shout-out to his American Top…

Conor McGregor Slams Bellator MMA’s Testing Policies

Conor McGregor is one of the biggest stars in the UFC. The Irish superstar is…

AEW superstar Jake Hager returns to MMA on Bellator 250

AEW star Jake Hager will return to the MMA cage once again. The former ‘All…

“I’m Going to F*** You up” – Bellator Welterweight Aviv Gozali Calls Out Dillon Danis

Bellator fighter Aviv Gozali has now won five fights in a row, all by submission.…

Bellator is in Talks With Eddie Hearn for a Cris Cyborg vs Katie Taylor Super-Fight

Bellator MMA President Scott Coker has dropped exciting news about Cris Cyborg that has fans…

Cris Cyborg Says Amanda Nunes Ran Away From the Rematch

Cris Cyborg is arguably the best female fighter that has ever graced a cage. Her…

Cris Cyborg Back With a Familiar Name in Team Ahead of Bellator Title Defense in 2020

Cris Cyborg is one of the most revered female fighters in the world and one…

“I’m Gonna Put Some Fear in Her”- Arlene Blencowe Aims to Dismantle Cris Cyborg at Bellator 249

Bellator 249 in Uncasville, Connecticut will see a featherweight title fight between Cris Cyborg and…

WATCH: Amazing Celebration By Bellator Fighter After Knocking Out Opponent In Brutal Fashion

Yves Landu made his Bellator debut at Bellator 248- Kongo Vs Johnson 2. This was…

Fabricio Werdum vs Fedor Emelianenko Rematch in the Works at Bellator

Fabricio Werdum shocked the world in 2010 as he became the first person to defeat…

Khabib Nurmagomedov Introduces His Cousin to Bellator MMA

Khabib Nurmagomedov is not the only fighter in his family who boasts of an undefeated…

BREAKING: Frank Mir’s 17-Year-Old Daughter Set to Make Her Professional MMA Debut

The daughter of former UFC heavyweight champion Frank Mir will make her professional MMA debut…

Bellator Fight Canceled After Paul Daley Gets Hospitalized Following Weight Cut

The main event of Bellator 247 has fallen through. This is because Paul Daley had…

WATCH: Michael Chandler Leaves Opponent Motionless in 44 Seconds

Michael Chandler has been one of Bellator’s biggest stars in the promotion’s history. Since UFC…

Former Bellator Champion Issues a Challenge to Khabib Nurmagomedov on His Birthday

Three-time Bellator lightweight champion, Michael Chandler, has signed with the UFC and is already aiming…

BREAKING: AEW Superstar Jon Moxley Makes His Bloodsport Debut

Jon Moxley is ready for another gruesome fight after Josh Barnett announced that Moxley will…

“If You Want To Fight Then Fight”- Dana White Comments on the Tony Ferguson Situation

UFC President Dana White spoke to Aaron Bronsteter and plunged deep into the current landscape…

“I’m The Best 155er in the World”- Michael Chandler Makes a Bold Statement Ahead of His UFC Debut

Newly minted UFC fighter Michael Chandler spoke out briefly to ESPN’s Brett Okamoto and shared…

Kevin Lee Criticizes Dana White’s Decision to Put Michael Chandler on Standby for UFC 254

The UFC’s stacked lightweight division has gotten one more big-name fighter in Michael Chandler. The…

Dana White Details Michael Chandler’s Role as a Back-Up for UFC 254

UFC President Dana White spoke to TSN’s Aaron Bronsteter and touched upon various trending topics…

BREAKING: Dana White Announces Huge Signing in the Lightweight Division of the UFC

After all the speculations, Michael Chandler has finally landed in the UFC. The former Bellator…