Will Bellator Ever Be Able To Compete With The UFC?
January 31, 2017 (No Comments) by Andy Leech

bellator-logo

You were a bit nervous clicking on this link, but you closed your eyes and went for it anyway. You know you love the UFC, and you really enjoy telling all your mates about how much of it you watch. “Conor McGregor is bleeding deadly at UFC, isn’t he, boys?” you’d say, hoping there’d be no follow up questions from your one mate who just happens to know more about MMA than Coach John Kavanagh!

So, you saw this headline, noticed it had something to do with the UFC, and went ahead and clicked on it, but there’s one question that still hasn’t been answered for you.

What The F*CK Is Bellator?

Traditionally, Bellator was the UFC’s more honest, quirkier, but ultimately poorer (and a bit shitter) little brother. It once was a promotion company for the hipster MMA fan, with some subtle but interesting differences.

While the UFC have a “match-making” style, meaning that “who fights who” is ultimately decided by men in suits, Bellator runs off a “tournament” style. If someone wants a title shot, they must win a tournament in their weight division for a chance of having a pop at the champion. Oh, and it used to be free to air in the US. Sounds pretty cool, doesn’t it?

What Changed?

Well, Bellator lost the plot altogether. Instead of becoming a cooler, more authentic, cheaper alternative to the UFC, they became hell-bent on copying their rival’s style, but in a crazy kind of fashion.

2015 was a year that saw them introduce Pay Per View match ups, as well as embark on a new recruitment policy. They often hire retired fighters, who were once fan favourites, and throw them into fights, despite the fact that they’re way past their prime.

img_2726

The 2015 Ken Shamrock vs Kimbo Slice fight was the first time I began to take notice of this. I mean, I can’t have been the only one uncomfortable watching a couple of auld lads beating the farts out of each other, could I?

Does Bellator Compete With The UFC?

UFC is God when it comes to MMA. Most young, aspiring fighters dream of one day following in the footsteps of stars such as Conor McGregor and Ronda Rousey (back before she started getting her arse kicked by everyone).

However, Bellator has established itself as the UFC’s main competitor. 2016 saw some big names make the switch from UFC to Bellator. Phil Davis, Josh Thomson and Benson Henderson all transitioned in search of greener pastures and well, ahem, more money.

shamrockgracie

While these signings were a significant coup for Bellator, it’s their other means of promotion that has been raising eyebrows recently. The likes of Ken Shamrock, Tito Ortiz, Stephan Bonnar, and Royce Gracie have all signed up to fight for Bellator in recent times. While they were all talented fighters in their day, they have a combined age of about a billion (sorry, I have been watching a lot of Donald Trump).

Fixing

There has also been much controversy surrounding match fixing. This accusation has been thrown at the promotional company before, and the Chael Sonnen vs Tito Ortiz fight at Bellator 170 has had a lot of people talking.

chael_tito

Many fans took to Twitter to voice their suspicions of fixing when Ortiz made Sonnen submit in the first round, meaning he would retire in a blaze of glory. While shouts of “that’s a fix!” have been around since the foundation of MMA, controversies like this won’t help Bellator.

Is Bellator Where UFC Legends Go To Die?

To answer a question like this, you can compare MMA with football. If UFC is like the Premier League, well then signing for Bellator is like packing your bags and heading off to China. To do so, is to pocket a large sum of Dollarydoos, and accept that your career is over. Finishing your career in Bellator is a great way of making a few last bucks before enjoying what retirement has to offer.

While Bellator do still have fighters on their roster who are becoming successful without a UFC background, UFC is simply where it’s at, and with Conor McGregor now being more popular than ever, that doesn’t look like changing anytime soon.

Andy Leech
Writes about sport and the general idiocy of the human race. Once read a George Orwell book and now understands life.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Find us on Facebook

Follow us on Twitter

Recent Posts

Will Bellator Ever Be Able To Compete With The UFC?
January 31, 2017 (No Comments) by Andy Leech

bellator-logo

You were a bit nervous clicking on this link, but you closed your eyes and went for it anyway. You know you love the UFC, and you really enjoy telling all your mates about how much of it you watch. “Conor McGregor is bleeding deadly at UFC, isn’t he, boys?” you’d say, hoping there’d be no follow up questions from your one mate who just happens to know more about MMA than Coach John Kavanagh!

So, you saw this headline, noticed it had something to do with the UFC, and went ahead and clicked on it, but there’s one question that still hasn’t been answered for you.

What The F*CK Is Bellator?

Traditionally, Bellator was the UFC’s more honest, quirkier, but ultimately poorer (and a bit shitter) little brother. It once was a promotion company for the hipster MMA fan, with some subtle but interesting differences.

While the UFC have a “match-making” style, meaning that “who fights who” is ultimately decided by men in suits, Bellator runs off a “tournament” style. If someone wants a title shot, they must win a tournament in their weight division for a chance of having a pop at the champion. Oh, and it used to be free to air in the US. Sounds pretty cool, doesn’t it?

What Changed?

Well, Bellator lost the plot altogether. Instead of becoming a cooler, more authentic, cheaper alternative to the UFC, they became hell-bent on copying their rival’s style, but in a crazy kind of fashion.

2015 was a year that saw them introduce Pay Per View match ups, as well as embark on a new recruitment policy. They often hire retired fighters, who were once fan favourites, and throw them into fights, despite the fact that they’re way past their prime.

img_2726

The 2015 Ken Shamrock vs Kimbo Slice fight was the first time I began to take notice of this. I mean, I can’t have been the only one uncomfortable watching a couple of auld lads beating the farts out of each other, could I?

Does Bellator Compete With The UFC?

UFC is God when it comes to MMA. Most young, aspiring fighters dream of one day following in the footsteps of stars such as Conor McGregor and Ronda Rousey (back before she started getting her arse kicked by everyone).

However, Bellator has established itself as the UFC’s main competitor. 2016 saw some big names make the switch from UFC to Bellator. Phil Davis, Josh Thomson and Benson Henderson all transitioned in search of greener pastures and well, ahem, more money.

shamrockgracie

While these signings were a significant coup for Bellator, it’s their other means of promotion that has been raising eyebrows recently. The likes of Ken Shamrock, Tito Ortiz, Stephan Bonnar, and Royce Gracie have all signed up to fight for Bellator in recent times. While they were all talented fighters in their day, they have a combined age of about a billion (sorry, I have been watching a lot of Donald Trump).

Fixing

There has also been much controversy surrounding match fixing. This accusation has been thrown at the promotional company before, and the Chael Sonnen vs Tito Ortiz fight at Bellator 170 has had a lot of people talking.

chael_tito

Many fans took to Twitter to voice their suspicions of fixing when Ortiz made Sonnen submit in the first round, meaning he would retire in a blaze of glory. While shouts of “that’s a fix!” have been around since the foundation of MMA, controversies like this won’t help Bellator.

Is Bellator Where UFC Legends Go To Die?

To answer a question like this, you can compare MMA with football. If UFC is like the Premier League, well then signing for Bellator is like packing your bags and heading off to China. To do so, is to pocket a large sum of Dollarydoos, and accept that your career is over. Finishing your career in Bellator is a great way of making a few last bucks before enjoying what retirement has to offer.

While Bellator do still have fighters on their roster who are becoming successful without a UFC background, UFC is simply where it’s at, and with Conor McGregor now being more popular than ever, that doesn’t look like changing anytime soon.

Andy Leech
Writes about sport and the general idiocy of the human race. Once read a George Orwell book and now understands life.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Find us on Facebook

Follow us on Twitter

Recent Posts