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Bellator MMA

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Bellator MMA

Bellator MMA
Type Private
Industry Mixed martial arts promotion
Founded 2008
Founders Bjorn Rebney
Headquarters Newport Beach, California, United States
Key people Scott Coker, President
Parent Viacom[1]

Bellator MMA (formerly known as Bellator Fighting Championships) is a mixed martial arts (MMA) promotion in the USA. Bellator was founded in 2008 by Chairman & CEO Bjorn Rebney. Bellator features "The Toughest Tournament in Sports", which has a single-elimination format that awards the winner of each eight-person or four-person tournament a check for $100,000 and a guaranteed world title fight against the current Bellator world champion in the applicable weight class.

In December 2011, media giant Viacom acquired a majority stake of Bellator and in January 2013, all Bellator events began airing on Spike TV to Spike's 100 million home universe weekly. Bellator produces nearly 25 live events annually, as well as shoulder programming including fighter features, highlight shows and reality based programming.

In May 2014, Bellator hosted the company's inaugural pay-per-view event from the Lander's Center. The event featured a Bellator Light Heavyweight Tournament Final fight between Rampage Jackson and King Mo, Michael Chandler vs. Will Brooks for the Lightweight Interim World Title, Alexander Shlemenko vs. Tito Ortiz, the Bellator Season 10 Heavyweight Tournament Final between Alexander Volkov vs. Blagoi Ivanov and a feature fight between Ricky Rainey vs. Michael Page.

Bellator's exponential growth has now exceeded 140 countries around the world, including Argentina, Brazil, Cuba, The United Kingdom, France, Russia, and several African nations.

The word "Bellator" means "warrior" in Latin.

Company Timeline

  • Sept. 2008 – Bellator was founded by Bellator Chairman and CEO Bjorn Rebney
  • Nov. 2008 – Bellator announces broadcast agreement with ESPN Deportes. Bellator becomes the first promoter to secure live MMA programming on any domestic platform on the ESPN family of networks
  • April 2009- Bellator 1 debuts on ESPN Deportes from Hollywood, Florida's Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino
  • May 2009- Jorge Masvidal, creating a viral sensation on YouTube collecting over 1.5 million views
  • July 2009- Sports Illustrated calls Bellator "MMA's success story of the year"
  • Oct. 2009- Bellator announces large-scale agreement with Fox Sports Net, NBC and Telemundo for Bellator's Season 2 & 3
  • April 2010- Bellator Season 2 debuts on Fox Sports Net from Hollywood, Florida'a Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino
  • Dec. 2010- Bellator announces U.S. language exclusive broadcast with MTV2, beginning in 2011
  • Mar. 2011- Bellator Season 4 debuts on MTV 2
  • Oct. 2011- Viacom purchases majority stake in Bellator and announces Bellator will move to Spike TV.
  • Nov. 2011- Nov. 19th Michael Chandler & Eddie Alvarez compete in the Lightweight World Title fight that is widely considered 2011's Fight of the Year
  • Aug. 2012- Bellator moves corporate offices from Chicago, IL to Newport Beach, CA
  • Jan. 2013- Bellator begins airing original shoulder programming including "Bellator 360"
  • Jan. 2013- Bellator Season 8 premieres Jan. 17 on Spike TV to over 1.2 million viewers
  • Feb. 2013- Bjorn Rebney and Spike President Kevin Kay jointly announce a new Bellator reality show, "Bellator MMA Fight Master"
  • Sept. 2013-Bellator 100 takes place from Phoenix's Grand Canyon University
  • Sept. 2013- Bellator signs multi-year partnership agreement with Fox Sports Latin America giving Bellator the largest MMA distribution deal in Latin America MMA history
  • Nov. 2013- Nov. 2nd Chandler vs. Alvarez II delivers 1.4 viewers on Spike TV and becomes the highest rated MMA TV show on cable during the fall of 2013
  • May 2014- Bellator's inaugural pay-per-view from the Lander's Center at Bellator 120
  • June 2014- Company announces that both Chairman/CEO Bjorn Rebney and President Tim Danaher have left the company.

Tournament format

Bellator has followed a real sport tournament format, unlike other MMA promotions. However, new Bellator President Scott Coker made the decision that beginning in 2015, Bellator will drop the 8-man tournament format.[2]

Bellator includes weight classes from bantamweight (135 pounds) through heavyweight (265 pounds) and tournaments in each weight class are conducted over a three month period. Each tournament begins with the opening round featuring eight fighters in that respective weight class, moving onto the semi-finals and then the finals. For four-man tournaments, only the semi-finals and finals are included. Each tournament is single elimination and there is a one month break between opening round, semi-finals and finals.

During the tournament the rules are slightly different from those of a non-tournament fight. Elbow strikes are illegal in the quarterfinal and semifinal tournament bouts due to the high probability of a cut occurring. Elbow strikes are legal in the finals. The tournament final is still a three five-minute rounds, since it is not a title fight.

Broadcast partners

Bellator airs live on Spike TV. Bellator debuted on Spike on January 17, 2013 and averaged 938,000 viewers. Additional exclusive Bellator content and Bellator shoulder programming airs on Spike TV.

On September 24, 2013 Bellator announced its multi-partnership agreement with FOX Sports Latin America making Fox Sports the exclusive carrier of Bellator throughout the entirety of Latin America with a total distribution of more than 50 million households.

In February 2014, Bellator aligned with OSN, the leading pay-TV network in the MENA (Middle East and North Africa) region. OSN will begin airing Bellator events in 2014. Headquartered in Dubai Media City, UAE, OSN airs in both Arabic and English in high-definition throughout the region, operating five 24-hour sports channels.

Bellator also maintains a partnership with Russia 2, for the largest MMA broadcast alliance in Russian history. Bellator airs exclusively on Russia 2 throughout the country, introducing over 83 million Russian sports fans. Bellator broadcast partners also include; Viva in the United Kingdom, TENplay in Australia, and Celestial Tiger Entertainment throughout Asia.

Additional Bellator partners


Bellator moved its headquarters from Chicago, Ill., to Southern California in August 2012. Bellator is located in Newport Beach, Calif., 40 miles south of the Spike TV headquarters in Santa Monica, Calif.

Bjorn Rebney

Bjorn Rebney is the founder and former chairman and CEO of Bellator MMA.

In September 2008 he secured the first exclusive MMA Television alliance with any member of the ESPN family of networks and completed its first Bellator season in June 2009. Earlier in his career, Rebney was founder, president and CEO of Sugar Ray Leonard Boxing (SRLB). He also served as the Director of West Coast Operations for Integrated Sports International, where he created strategic business development and sponsorship procurement programs and worked as the Director of Operations for Sports Promotion International, where he orchestrating international sports tours in which the (former) Soviet Union's championship basketball and soccer teams competed against top South American, Canadian and American teams.

A California native, Rebney was a full scholarship athlete (football) at Ohio University, receiving several scholar athlete awards throughout his collegiate career.

On June 18, 2014, it was announced by Spike TV that Rebney has parted ways with the company.[3] On the same day Strikeforce founder Scott Coker was announced as the new President of Bellator[4]

Notable names

Eddie Alvarez

Eddie Alvarez is the Bellator Lightweight Champion. Alvarez won his first lightweight title on June 19, 2009 at Bellator 12 against Toby Imada and his second lightweight title was won on Nov. 2, 2013 at Bellator 106 against Michael Chandler.Alvarez competed on the Bellator's inaugural event on April 3, 2009 and was later named the Bellator Season 1 Lightweight Tournament winner. Alvarez has a 25-3 professional record and was won 14 victories by KO and seven by submission. His sole Bellator loss came by Michael Chandler in a lightweight title fight at Bellator 58. Alvarez is tied for third for the most Bellator wins with nine.

Karo "The Heat" Parisyan

Karo Parisyan is an Armenian American mixed martial artist fighting in the Bellator Fighting Championships. Parisyan is a former WEC Welterweight Champion and a former UFC fighter. He made his Bellator debut at Bellator 95 against Rick Hawn, where he lost by TKO. He bounced back to a victory at Bellator 116 by getting back to back technical knockouts of his own against Ron Keslar and Phil Baroni at Bellator 122.

Will Brooks

Will Brooks is a Bellator Lightweight Champion and one of the top lightweight prospects in MMA. Brooks was made his professional MMA debut in January 2011 and holds a 14-1 professional record. He was named the Bellator Season 9 Lightweight Tournament winner after defeating Tiger Sarnavskiy at Bellator 109. Brooks earned his world title after defeating Michael Chandler on Nov 15 live on pay-per-view at Bellator 131.

Michael Chandler

Michael Chandler is a former Bellator Lightweight Champion. Chandler was the Bellator Season 4 Lightweight Tournament winner and defeated Eddie Alvarez on Nov. 19, 2011 to win the Bellator Lightweight World title. He held the lightweight title for over two years and defended his title twice during his reign, before losing to Eddie Alvarez in their second meeting on Nov. 2, 2013 at Bellator 106. A former NCAA Division I All-American wrestler at Missouri, Chandler has a 12-2 professional record with 10 wins by KO or submission. Chandler ranks in the top-three for most Bellator wins with nine and is tied for the longest Bellator win-streak with eight victories. He was named the 2011 breakthrough fighter of the year and is currently ranked in the top-five lightweights in the world.

Pat Curran

Pat Curran is the Bellator Featherweight Champion. Curran is a two-time featherweight champion after defeating Joe Warren at Bellator 60 and most recently defeating Daniel Straus at Bellator 112 for his second reign. Curran is the first Bellator fighter to win tournaments in two different weight classes (Bellator Featherweight 2011 Summer Series, Bellator Season 2 Lightweight Tournament). He has a professional record of 20-5 with five wins coming by knockout and seven submission wins. Curran ties for first with most Bellator fights (12) and second for most Bellator wins, recording 10. He has fought in six Bellator title fights, holds the second place spot for most time spent in the Bellator cage (2:54.39) and is tied for third for most Bellator title defenses, defending his belt three times.

Eduardo Dantas

Eduardo Dantas is the Bellator Bantamweight Champion. Dantas defeated Zach Makovsky at Bellator 65 to win the Bellator Bantamweight title. He has held the title reign since 2012 and has successfully defended his title twice, with victories over Marcos Galvao and Anthony Leone. Dantas was the Season 5 Bellator Bantamweight Tournament winner and was also named the South American Shooto Champion, Brazilian National Jiu-Jitsu Champion and Brazilian Amateur Boxing Champion. Dantas has a 16-3 professional record and is ranked in the top-three in bantamweight fighters.

Marcin Held

Marcin Held is a Bellator lightweight fighter and has a 19-3 professional record. At only 22 years of age, Held has compiled a 8-2 Bellator record and was a Season 7 and Season 10 Lightweight Tournament finalist. Widely regarded at the "The Prodigy of Polish MMA," Held is known for his strong submission skills and has recorded 11 victories by submission. He is the youngest fighter to win a Bellator fight after defeating Phillipe Nover Bellator 59 on Nov. 29, 2011 at age 19.

Quinton "Rampage" Jackson

Rampage Jackson is a former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion and is now partnered with Bellator MMA, Spike TV and TNA Wrestling. Jackson made his Bellator debut at Bellator 108 on Nov. 15, 2013 against Joey Beltran, winning by first round TKO. Jackson holds a 35-11 professional record, including 16 knockouts and seven submissions. He has a 3-0 Bellator record with two wins coming by first round TKO.

Cheick Kongo

Cheick Kongo is a 18-time UFC fighter and now fights for Bellator MMA. Kongo made his Bellator debut on Oct. 4, 2012 defeating Mark Godbeer by TKO at Bellator 102. He was named the Bellator Season 9 Heavyweight Tournament winner at Bellator 107 after beating Peter Graham by unanimous decision. Kongo has a 21-9 professional record with 12 wins by knockout, six coming the first round.

Douglas Lima

Douglas Lima is the Bellator Welterweight Champion. He earned is Bellator Welterweight title after defeating Rick Hawn by TKO (doctor stoppage) on April 18 at Bellator 117. Lima was the Bellator Season 5 and Season 8 Welterweight Tournament winner. He has a 26-5 professional record with 23 victories coming by knockout or submission. Lima has won five-consecutive fights with his sole Bellator loss coming from Ben Askren.

Vitaly Minakov

Vitaly Minakov is the Bellator Heavyweight Champion. He has an undefeated 14-0 professional record with 12 wins coming by KO or submission. A four-time Sambo World Champion, Minakov was also named the Russian Junior Judo National Champion. He made his Bellator debut Nov. 2. 2012 and later won the Bellator 2013 Summer Series Heavyweight Tournament. Minakov defeated Alexander Volkov by first round knockout at Bellator 108 to claim his heavyweight world title. He has defended his title one time, defeating Cheick Kongo at Bellator 115.

Emanuel Newton

Emanuel Newton is the Bellator Light Heavyweight World Champion. Newton made his professional debut in Nov. 2003 and holds a 23-7-1 professional record and a 6-1 Bellator record. The Season 8 Light Heavyweight Tournament winner defeated King Mo to win the Interim Bellator Light Heavyweight Championship on November 2, 2013 at Bellator 106. Newton won the undisputed world title after defeating Attila Vegh at Bellator 113 on March 21, 2014.

Patricio Pitbull

Patricio Pitbull is a Bellator featherweight fighter and is ranked in the top-10 featherweights in the world. He has a 21-2 professional record with his sole two losses coming from current Bellator Featherweight Champion Pat Curran and Bellator Interim Bantamweight Champion Joe Warren. Pitbull was the Season 4 and Season 9 Featherweight Tournament winner and a Season 2 Featherweight Tournament finalist. He ranks second in the most Bellator wins in a calendar year with four victories in 2014 and is tied for third for most Bellator wins with nine.

Patricky Pitbull

Patricky Pitbull is a Bellator lightweight fighter with a 13-5 professional record. He is a Season 4 and Season 10 lightweight tournament finalist. Known for his strong striking, Pitbull has recorded nine of his 13 victories by knockout. He is a seven-time Brazilian jiu-jitsu state champion and a kickboxing state champion. Patricky is the older of the two "Pitbull Brothers."

Alexander Shlemenko

Alexander Shlemenko is the Bellator Middleweight Champion. Shlemenko defeated Maiquel Falcao at Bellator 88 to win the middleweight world title and has successfully defended his belt three times. Shlemenko was the Bellator Season 2 and Season 5 Middleweight Tournament winner. He has a 50-8 professional record with 29 knockouts and eight submission wins. Shlemenko has won 13-consequtive fights and ranks in the top-eight middleweights in the world. He has recorded the most Bellator wins with 12 and ranks second in Bellator history with the most Bellator title defenses (3) and longest Bellator win-streak with eight-straight victories.

Daniel Straus

Daniel Straus is a former Bellator Featherweight Champion. Straus was the Bellator Season 6 Featherweight Tournament winner and defeated Pat Curran at Bellator 106 to win the Bellator Featherweight World Title. In a rematch against Curran at Bellator 112, Straus was defeated via submission in the fifth round. Straus holds a 22-2 professional record and is 8-2 in Bellator.

Joe Warren

Joe Warren is the Bellator Interim Bantamweight World Champion. He won the interim Bantamweight title after defeating Rafael Silva by unanimous decision at Bellator 118. Warren is the only Bellator fighter to have won a world title in two different weight classes after winning a bantamweight and featherweight world title. With a 11-3 professional record, Warren is tied for third with the most Bellator wins (9) and was named the Season 9 Bantamweight Tournament winner and the Season 2 Featherweight Tournament winner. Warren is a former Greco Roman World Wrestling Champion and was a 2000 NCAA Division I All-American wrestler at Michigan. He became Undisputed Bellator Bantamweight Champion after his win over Eduardo Dantas on October 10, 2014 in Bellator 128.


Season One

Bellator Fighting Championships: Season One (April 3, 2009 - June 19, 2009)

During Bellator's first season, events were broadcast nationally on ESPN Deportes in the United States. Bellator 1 took place on April 3, 2009 and like many events that season, aired via tape delay. Tournaments took place in the middleweight, welterweight, lightweight and featherweight divisions with the winners becoming the inaugural Bellator World Champions in their specific weight class. Hector Lombard defeated Jared Hess[5] in the finals of the middleweight tournament to become the 185 lbs. Champion while Lyman Good defeated Omar De La Cruz to secure the Bellator Welterweight Title.[6] In addition, Eddie Alvarez defeated Toby Imada to win the Bellator Lightweight Belt[7] while Joe Soto defeated Yahir Reyes to become the Bellator Featherweight Champion.[8] Color commentary for Bellator's first season was provided by Jon Anik and Jason Chambers.

  • Winners:
Weight Division Winner Runner-Up Event
Middleweight Hector Lombard Jared Hess Bellator 12
Welterweight Lyman Good Omar De La Cruz Bellator 11
Lightweight Eddie Alvarez Toby Imada Bellator 12
Featherweight Joe Soto Yahir Reyes Bellator 10

Season Two

Bellator Fighting Championships: Season Two (April 8, 2010 - June 24, 2010)

For Bellator's second season, events aired nationally on FOX Sports Net in the United States.[9] Season two debuted on April 8, 2010 and like season one, hosted tournaments in the middleweight, welterweight, lightweight and featherweight divisions. Alexander Shlemenko defeated Bryan Baker (fighter) to become the Middleweight Tournament Champion[10] while Ben Askren defeated Dan Hornbuckle to win the 170 lb tournament.[11] Also, Pat Curran defeated Toby Imada to win the lightweight tournament[12] and Joe Warren (fighter) defeated Patricio Pitbull to become the Featherweight Tournament Champion.[13] Season two tournament champions were awarded a check for $100,000 and a title shot against the Season 1 Champions. In addition to the tournament fights, season two was the first season to host non-tournament, non-title super fights for current champions. Three of Bellator's four champions competed in super fights during Season 2. Middleweight Champion Hector Lombard scored the fastest knockout in Bellator history when he defeated Jay Silva in a catch weight bout at Bellator 18.[14] Also, Lightweight Champion Eddie Alvarez submitted Josh Neer in a catch weight bout at Bellator 17[15] and Joe Soto scored a technical knockout victory over Diego Saraiva in a featherweight bout at Bellator 19.[16] Welterweight Champion Lyman Good was the only champion to not participate in a season two non-title super fight. Bellator also introduced the new commentary team of Jimmy Smith and Sean Wheelock during Season 2.[17]

  • Winners:
Weight Division Winner Runner-Up Event
Middleweight Alexander Shlemenko Bryan Baker Bellator 23
Welterweight Ben Askren Dan Hornbuckle Bellator 22
Lightweight Pat Curran Toby Imada Bellator 21
Featherweight Joe Warren Patricio Freire Bellator 23

Season Three

Bellator Fighting Championships: Season Three (August 12, 2010 - October 28, 2010)

Bellator kicked off its third season on August 12, 2010 with tournaments in the bantamweight, heavyweight, and women's divisions. Zach Makovsky defeated Ed West at Bellator 32 to win the 135 lb tournament and become the promotions first ever Bellator Bantamweight Champion.Also that same evening, Cole Konrad submitted Neil Grove to win the heavyweight tournament and become the first Heavyweight Champion in Bellator history.[18] Zoila Gurgel became the first Bellator Women's Champion when she defeated Megumi Fujii at Bellator 34.[19] The first official title defense took place between defending Bellator Featherweight Champion Joe Soto and Season 2 Tournament Champion Joe Warren at Bellator 37. Warren defeated Soto by TKO to become the new Bellator Featherweight Champion.[20] Other championship fights featured during season 3 were Hector Lombard retaining his Bellator middleweight championship by defeating Season 2 Tournament Winner, Alexander Shlemenko[21] and Season 2 Welterweight Tournament Champion, Ben Askren, defeating reigning champion Lyman Good to become the new Bellator Welterweight Champion.[22] Some of the memorable moments from Bellator's Season three are Eddie Alvarez's third round TKO victory over UFC veteran Roger Huerta in a non-title match[23] and Bellator Middleweight Champion Hector Lombard's 38 second knockout of Herbert Goodman at Bellator 24.[24]

  • Winners:
Weight Division Winner Runner-Up Event
Heavyweight Cole Konrad Neil Grove Bellator 32
Bantamweight Zach Makovsky Ed West Bellator 32
Women's Strawweight (115 lbs.) Zoila Gurgel Megumi Fujii Bellator 34

Season Four –The MTV2 Partnership

Bellator Fighting Championships: Season Four (March 5, 2011 - May 21, 2011)

Season Four of Bellator began broadcasting nationally on March 5, 2011 and marked the promotions departure from FOX Sports Net to MTV2.[25] Season 4 showcased tournaments in the featherweight, lightweight, welterweight and light heavyweight divisions. Patricio "Pitbull" defeated Daniel Straus at Bellator 45 to become the Bellator Featherweight Tournament Champion[26] while Christian M'Pumbu defeated Richard Hale (fighter) the same night to become the first Bellator Light Heavyweight Champion in history.[27] Also, Michael Chandler became the Bellator Season 4 Lightweight Tournament Champion when he defeated Patricky "Pitbull" at Bellator 44[28] while Jay Hieron booked a welterweight title shot by defeating Rick Hawn in the Bellator Welterweight Tournament Championship at Bellator 43.[29] Some of the memorable highlights from Bellator's fourth season include Ben Saunders earning a TKO victory over Matt Lee in his Bellator debut,[30] Richard Hale's inverted triangle choke over Nik Fekete at Bellator 38,[31] a flying knee knockout by Patricky "Pitbull" over Toby Imada at Bellator 39[32] and Hector Lombard's one punch knockout of Falaniko Vitale at Bellator 44.[33] Hale and Pitbull were, respectively, nominated for the 2011 World MMA Awards submission of the year and knockout of the year.[34]

  • Winners:
Weight Division Winner Runner-Up Event
Light Heavyweight Christian M'Pumbu Richard Hale Bellator 45
Welterweight Jay Hieron Rick Hawn Bellator 43
Lightweight Michael Chandler Patricky Freire Bellator 44
Featherweight Patricio Freire Daniel Straus Bellator 45

Summer Series 2011

Bellator Fighting Championships: 2011 Summer Series (June 25, 2011 - August 27, 2011)

In the summer of 2011, Bellator introduced the Summer Series which would feature a featherweight tournament that would decide a challenger for reigning Bellator Featherweight Champion Joe Warren. Like Season 4, the Summer Series was broadcast nationally on MTV2. A total of three events were held during the Summer Series including Bellator 47 which took place at Casino Rama in Rama, Ontario, Canada. This event marked the first time Bellator held an event outside the United States.[35] In the featherweight tournament, Pat Curran defeated Marlon Sandro with a highlight reel head kick knockout in the finals at Bellator 48 to become the Bellator Summer Series Featherweight Tournament Champion.[36] In addition to the featherweight tournament, Bellator also hosted a number of featured bouts, including Cole Konrad's non-title win over Paul Buentello and Seth Petruzelli securing a knockout win over former UFC Heavyweight Champion Ricco Rodriguez at Bellator 48.[37]

  • Winner:
Weight Division Winner Runner-Up Event
Featherweight Pat Curran Marlon Sandro Bellator 48

Season Five: The Viacom Era

Bellator Fighting Championships: Season Five (September 10, 2011 - November 26, 2011)

Bellator's fifth season, which began on September 10, 2011, continued to air on MTV2 in the United States as well as in HD on [45] On November 19, 2011, at Bellator 58, the company hosted what was called the best fight in the promotion's early history.[46] Bellator Lightweight Champion Eddie Alvarez fought Season 4 Lightweight Tournament Champion Michael Chandler in a back-and-forth affair. In the end, Chandler defeated Alvarez via fourth round submission to become the new Bellator Lightweight Champion in a fight that several journalists called the fight of the year.[47][48] Other memorable highlights from season five include Douglas Lima's knockout victory over Chris Lozano at Bellator 53,[49] Eric Prindle's knockout win over Ron Sparks at Bellator 56, Vitor Vianna's knockout of Bryan Baker at Bellator 54 and a pair of knockout victories by Alexis Vila and Eduardo Dantas at Bellator 51.[50]

  • Winners:
Weight Division Winner Runner-Up Event
Heavyweight Eric Prindle Thiago Santos Bellator 62
Middleweight Alexander Shlemenko Vitor Vianna Bellator 57
Welterweight Douglas Lima Ben Saunders Bellator 57
Bantamweight Eduardo Dantas Alexis Vila Bellator 59

Season Six

Bellator Fighting Championships: Season Six (March 9, 2012 - August 24, 2012)

Bellator's sixth season began on March 9, 2012 with Bellator 60, when Pat Curran captured the Bellator Featherweight Championship after beating champion Joe Warren. At Bellator 64, Ben Askren defended his Welterweight title against Douglas Lima by unanimous decision. At Bellator 65, Eduardo Dantas defeated then champion Zach Makovsky to become the new Bellator Bantamweight Champion. At Bellator 70, Cole Konrad took down Eric Prindle in the first round to defend his Bellator Heavyweight Championship.

  • Winners:
Weight Division Winner Runner-Up Event
Middleweight Maiquel Falcão Andreas Spang Bellator 69
Welterweight Karl Amoussou Bryan Baker Bellator 72
Lightweight Rick Hawn Brent Weedman Bellator 70
Featherweight Daniel Straus Marlon Sandro Bellator 68
Bantamweight Marcos Galvao Luis Nogueira Bellator 73

Summer Series 2012

Bellator Fighting Championships: 2012 Summer Series (June 22, 2012 - August 24, 2012)

In the summer of 2012, Bellator held its second Summer Series which would feature a Light Heavyweight tournament that would decide a challenger for reigning Bellator Light Heavyweight Champion Christian M'Pumbu. The Summer Series started June 22, 2012 and was broadcast nationally on MTV2 for a total of three events. In the Light Heavyweight tournament, Attila Vegh defeated Travis Wiuff with a knockout in the finals at Bellator 73 to become the 2012 Bellator Summer Series Light Heavyweight Tournament Champion. In addition to the Light Heavyweight tournament, Bellator also hosted a number of featured bouts, including a third fight between Marius Zaromskis and Waachiim Spiritwolf at Bellator 72. Bellator also finished two Season Six tournaments with Karl Amoussou defeating Bryan Baker at Bellator 72 to become the Season Six Welterweight Champion, and Marcos Galvao defeating Luis Nogueira at Bellator 73 to become the Season Six Bantamweight Champion. Pat Curran was also set to defend his Featherweight Championship versus Patricio Friere, who is the Season Four Champion, at Bellator 73 but he was forced to withdraw from the bout due to an injury that occurred during training.

  • Winner:
Weight Division Winner Runner-Up Event
Light Heavyweight Attila Vegh Travis Wiuff Bellator 73

Season Seven

Bellator Fighting Championships: Season Seven (September 28, 2012 - December 14, 2012)

Bellator's seventh season began on September 28, 2012 with Bellator 74 . The season showcased a heavyweight, welterweight, lightweight and featherweight tournament.

  • Winners:
Weight Division Winner Runner-Up Event
Heavyweight Alexander Volkov Richard Hale Bellator 84
Welterweight Andrey Koreshkov Lyman Good Bellator 82
Lightweight Dave Jansen Marcin Held Bellator 93
Featherweight Shahbulat Shamhalaev Rad Martinez Bellator 90

Season Eight

Bellator Fighting Championships: Season Eight (January 17, 2013 - April 4, 2013)

Bellator's eighth season began on January 17, 2013 at the Bren Events Center in Irvine, Calif. The event served as Bellator's premier on Spike TV. Season Eight included featherweight, lightweight, welterweight, middleweight and light heavyweight tournaments.

  • Winners:
Weight Division Winner Runner-Up Event
Light Heavyweight Emanuel Newton Mikhail Zayats Bellator 94
Middleweight Doug Marshall Brett Cooper Bellator 95
Welterweight Douglas Lima Ben Saunders Bellator 100
Lightweight David Rickels Saad Awad Bellator 94
Featherweight Frodo Khasbulaev Mike Richman Bellator 95

Summer Series 2013

Bellator MMA: 2013 Summer Series (June 19, 2013 - July 31, 2013)

Bellator's 2013 Summer Series began on June 19, 2013. All three of this season's tournaments were contested as four-man tournaments, as opposed to Bellator's standard eight-man tournament. The change in tournament size was necessary in order to hold multiple tournaments during the summer series' shortened season.

  • Winners:
Weight Division Winner Runner-Up Event
Heavyweight Vitaly Minakov Ryan Martinez Bellator 97
Light Heavyweight Muhammed Lawal Jacob Noe Bellator 97
Bantamweight Rafael Silva Anthony Leone Bellator 102

Season Nine

Bellator MMA: Season Nine (September 7, 2013 - November 22, 2013)

Bellator's Ninth season began on September 7, 2013. For this season the bantamweight and heavyweight tournaments were held as four-man tournaments, while all tournaments were the standard Bellator eight-man tournament.

  • Winners:
Weight Division Winner Runner-Up Event
Heavyweight[1] Cheick Kongo Peter Graham Bellator 107
Middleweight Brennan Ward Mikkel Parlo Bellator 107
Welterweight Rick Hawn Ron Keslar Bellator 109
Lightweight Will Brooks Alexander Sarnavskiy Bellator 109
Featherweight Patricio Freire Justin Wilcox Bellator 108
Bantamweight[1] Joe Warren Travis Marx Bellator 107
  1. ^ a b Four-man Tournament

Season Ten

Bellator MMA: Season Ten (February 28, 2014 - May 17, 2014)

Bellator's Tenth season began on February 28, 2014. For this season the middleweight and light heavyweight tournaments were held as four-man tournaments, while all tournaments were the standard Bellator eight-man tournament.

Weight Division Winner Runner-Up Event
Heavyweight Alexander Volkov Blagoy Ivanov Bellator 120
Light Heavyweight Quinton Jackson Muhammed Lawal Bellator 120
Featherweight Daniel Weichel Desmond Green Bellator 119
Middleweight Brandon Halsey Brett Cooper Bellator 122
Welterweight Andrey Koreshkov Adam McDonough Bellator 122
Lightweight Marcin Held Patricky Freire Bellator 126

Summer Series 2014

Bellator MMA: 2014 Summer Series (June 6, 2014 - July 25, 2014)

Bellator's 2014 Summer Series will begin on June 6, 2014. The 2014 Summer Series will feature an eight-man light heavyweight tournament and a series of Season 10 tournament finals.

Weight Division Winner Runner-Up Event
Light Heavyweight Liam McGeary Kelly Anundson Bellator 124

Season Eleven


Reality show

On February 5, 2013, Bellator and Spike TV held a press conference to announce the collaboration on an MMA based reality series titled Fight Master: Bellator MMA.[51] The coaches and trainers for the series, which will feature 32 welterweight fighters, will be Randy Couture, Frank Shamrock, Greg Jackson, and Joe Warren. The 32 fighters will be competing for a spot in Bellator's welterweight tournament. The weekly series will culminate in a live season finale on Spike TV with the winner advancing into the fall welterweight tournament. It made its debut on Spike TV on June 19, 2013.[52]

Fight Master

Season Date Weight class Winner Runner-up
Fight Master: Bellator MMA Season 1 November 2, 2013 Welterweight Joe Riggs Mike Bronzoulis


Bellator Fighting Championships follows the Unified Rules of Mixed Martial Arts, which were first established in April 2000. The Unified Rules of Mixed Martial Arts have been adopted by every state athletic commission that holds mixed martial arts events throughout the United States.

Under the Unified Rules of Mixed Martial Arts there are no groin strikes, eye gouging, kicking or kneeing a grounded opponent, downward elbows, strikes to the back of the head, head butting, biting, or grabbing the fence. Upon a violation of the rules, referee can either warn the fighter, take a point away, or disqualify the fighter depending upon the regularity and severity of the foul.


All non-world championship fights in Bellator consist of three, five-minute rounds, with one-minute rest periods between rounds. All world championship fights in Bellator consist of five, five-minute rounds, with one-minute rest periods between rounds.

Weight divisions

Bellator currently uses seven weight classes for men:
Weight class name Upper limit
in pounds (lb) in kilograms (kg)
Bantamweight 135 61.2
Featherweight 145 65.8
Lightweight 155 70.3
Welterweight 170 77.1
Middleweight 185 83.9
Light Heavyweight 205 93.0
Heavyweight 265 120.2

Bellator has also held women's bouts at the following weights:

  • 115 pounds
  • 125 pounds
  • 135 pounds
  • 145 pounds

Match outcome

Matches usually end via:

  • Submission: a fighter clearly taps the mat or his opponent, or verbally submits. Also a technical submission may be called when a fighter either loses consciousness or is on the verge of serious injury while in a hold.
  • Knockout: a fighter is put into a state of unconsciousness resulting from any legal strike.
  • Technical Knockout (TKO): If the referee decides a fighter cannot continue, the fight is ruled as a technical knockout. Technical knockouts can be classified into three categories:
    • referee stoppage (the referee ends the fight because one fighter is unable to intelligently defend himself)
    • doctor stoppage (a ring side doctor decides that it is unsafe for the fighter to continue the bout due to excessive bleeding or physical injuries)
    • corner stoppage (a fighter's cornerman signals defeat for their own fighter)
  • Judges' Decision: Depending on scoring, a match may end as:
    • unanimous decision (all three judges score a win for fighter A)
    • majority decision (two judges score a win for fighter A, one judge scores a draw)
    • split decision (two judges score a win for fighter A, one judge scores a win for fighter B)
    • unanimous draw (all three judges score a draw)
    • majority draw (two judges score a draw, one judge scoring a win)
    • split draw (one judge scores a win for fighter A, one judge scores a win for fighter B, and one judge scores a draw)

Note: In the event of a draw, it is not necessary that the fighters' total points be equal. However, in a unanimous or split draw, each fighter does score an equal number of win judgments from the three judges (0 or 1, respectively). A fight can also end in a technical decision, technical submission, disqualification, forfeit, technical draw, or no contest. The latter two outcomes have no winners.

The ten-point must scoring system is in effect for all bouts in Bellator. Three judges score each round with the winner of each round getting 10 points while the loser gets 9 points or less. The only way that an even round can occur is if the fighter that won the round has a point deducted for a foul. Rounds scored 10-8 and 10-7 are typically scored when a fighter wins a round in dominant fashion.


The following is a list of fouls outlined by the states that regulate MMA, as established by the Nevada State Athletic Commission:[53]

  1. Butting with the head
  2. Eye gouging of any kind
  3. Biting
  4. Hair pulling
  5. Fish hooking
  6. Groin attacks of any kind
  7. Putting a finger into any orifice or into any cut or laceration on an opponent (see Fish-hooking)
  8. Small joint manipulation
  9. Striking to the spine or the back of the head (see Rabbit punch)
  10. Striking downward using the point of the elbow (see Elbow (strike))
  11. Throat strikes of any kind, including, without limitation, grabbing the trachea
  12. Clawing, pinching or twisting the flesh
  13. Grabbing the clavicle
  14. Kicking the head of a grounded opponent
  15. Kneeing the head of a grounded opponent
  16. Stomping a grounded opponent
  17. Kicking to the kidney with the heel
  18. Spiking an opponent to the canvas on his head or neck (see Piledriver)
  19. Throwing an opponent out of the ring or fenced area
  20. Holding the shorts or gloves of an opponent
  21. Spitting at an opponent
  22. Engaging in unsportsmanlike conduct that causes an injury to an opponent
  23. Holding the ropes or the fence
  24. Attacking an opponent on or during the break
  25. Attacking an opponent who is under the care of the referee
  26. Attacking an opponent after the bell (horn) has sounded the end of a round
  27. Flagrantly disregarding the instructions of the referee
  28. Timidity, including, without limitation, avoiding contact with an opponent, intentionally or consistently dropping the mouthpiece or faking an injury
  29. Interference by the corner
  30. Throwing in the towel during competition

When a foul is charged, the referee in their discretion may deduct one or more points as a penalty. If a foul incapacitates a fighter, then the match may end in a disqualification if the foul was intentional, or a no contest if unintentional. If a foul causes a fighter to be unable to continue later in the bout, it ends with a technical decision win to the injured fighter if the injured fighter is ahead on points, otherwise it is a technical draw.

Tournament rules

During Bellator tournament bouts, the rules are slightly different from those of a non-tournament fight. Elbow strikes are illegal in the quarterfinal and semifinal tournament bouts due to the high probability of a cut occurring. Elbow strikes are legal in the finals. Though the final bout is a tournament championship, it is still three five-minute rounds since it is not a title fight.

Bellator events

Current champions

Division Upper weight limit Champion Since Title defenses
Heavyweight 265 lb (120 kg; 18.9 st) Vitaly Minakov November 15, 2013 (Bellator 108) 1
Light Heavyweight 205 lb (93 kg; 14.6 st) Emanuel Newton March 21, 2014 (Bellator 113) 2
Middleweight 185 lb (84 kg; 13.2 st) Brandon Halsey September 26, 2014 (Bellator 126) 0
Welterweight 170 lb (77 kg; 12 st) Douglas Lima April 18, 2014 (Bellator 117) 0
Lightweight 155 lb (70 kg; 11.1 st) Will Brooks November 15, 2014 (Bellator 131) 0
Featherweight 145 lb (66 kg; 10.4 st) Patricio Freire September 5, 2014 (Bellator 123) 0
Bantamweight 135 lb (61 kg; 9.6 st) Joe Warren October 10, 2014 (Bellator 128) 0

See also


  1. ^ "Updated monthly". USA Today. 26 October 2011. 
  2. ^ Hunt, Loretta (September 4, 2014). "Scott Coker has big plans for Bellator as it closes out its tournament format". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved November 14, 2014. 
  3. ^ Stupp, Dann. "Bellator announces departure of executives Bjorn Rebney and Tim Danaher". MMA Junkie. Retrieved June 18, 2014. 
  4. ^ "Former Strikeforce head Scott Coker named Bellator MMA president.". MMA Junkie. 2014-06-18. Retrieved 2014-06-18. 
  5. ^ "Bellator XII - Middleweight Championship - Hector Lombard vs. Jared Hess". Bellator. Retrieved 9 February 2012. 
  6. ^ "Bellator XI - Welterweight Championship - Lyman Good vs. Omar De La Cruz". 
  7. ^ "Bellator XII - Lightweight Championship - Eddie Alvarez vs. Toby Imada". 
  8. ^ "Bellator X - Featherweight Championship - Joe Soto vs Yahir Reyes". 
  9. ^ Stupp, Dann. "Bellator strikes landmark broadcasting deal with FOX Sports Net, NBC and Telemundo". MMA Junkie. Retrieved 7 February 2012. 
  10. ^ "Bellator 23 Highlight: Alexander Shlemenko vs Bryan Baker Middleweight Tournament Final". 
  11. ^ "Bellator 22 Highlight: Ben Askren vs Dan Hornbuckle Welterweight Tournament Final". 
  12. ^ "Bellator 21 Highlight: Pat Curran vs Toby Imada Lightweight Tournament Final". 
  13. ^ "Bellator 23 Highlight: Joe Warren vs Patricio "Pitbull" Freire Featherweight Tournament Final". 
  14. ^ "Bellator 18 Highlight: Hector Lombard Scores 6 Second KO over Jay Silva". 
  15. ^ "Bellator XVII Highlight: Eddie Alvarez Submits Josh Neer By Rear Naked Choke". 
  16. ^ Smith, Michael David. "Joe Soto Cuts Diego Saraiva With a Vicious Elbow". MMA Fighting. Retrieved 7 February 2012. 
  17. ^ "Bellator announces Sean Wheelock and Jimmy Smith as FSN broadcast team". MMA Junkie. Retrieved 7 February 2012. 
  18. ^ "Bellator 32 recap: Konrad takes title with sub; new champ Makovsky earns decision". MMA Junkie. Retrieved 7 February 2012. 
  19. ^ "Bellator 34 recap: Lombard weathers Storm, Frausto shocks Fujii in five". Retrieved 7 February 2012. 
  20. ^ "Bellator 27 Highlight: Joe Warren vs. Joe Soto". 
  21. ^ Mrosko, Geno. "Bellator 34 results and recap for 'Lombard vs Shlemenko' on Oct. 28 in Hollywood". MMA Mania. Retrieved 7 February 2012. 
  22. ^ Smith, Michael David. "Ben Askren Beats Lyman Good for Bellator Welterweight Title". MMA Fighting. Retrieved 7 February 2012. 
  23. ^ Hui, Ray. "Eddie Alvarez Forces Doctor Stoppage of Roger Huerta at Bellator 33". MMA Fighting. Retrieved 7 February 2012. 
  24. ^ "Bellator 24 Highlight: Hector Lombard KOs Herbert Goodman in 38 Seconds". 
  26. ^ "Bellator 37 results: Reis, Pitbull, Straus and Foster move onto featherweight tournament semifinals". MMA Mania. Retrieved 7 February 2012. 
  27. ^ "Bellator 45 Christian M'Pumbu scores a vicious knockout becoming the new Light Heavyweight Champion". 
  28. ^ Richani, Fred. "Bellator 44: Michael Chandler dominates Patricky Pitbull". The Sports Courier. Retrieved 7 February 2012. 
  29. ^ "Bellator 43 results: Jay Hieron edges Rick Hawn in controversial split decision". Retrieved 7 February 2012. 
  30. ^ "Ben Saunders vs. Matt Lee at Bellator 39". 
  31. ^ "Bellator 38 moment Richard Hale locks in an incredible inverted triangle submission on Nik Fekete". 
  32. ^ "Bellator 39 moment Patricky Pitbull delivers a devastating flying knee to Toby Imada". 
  33. ^ "Hector Lombard lands yet another vicious right hand leaving Vitale slowly toppling to the ground". 
  34. ^ "Finalists announced for 2011 World MMA Awards, nominated". MMA Junkie. Retrieved 7 February 2012. 
  35. ^ Stupp, Dan. "Bellator 47 headed to Canada on July 23, Ontario's Casino Rama plays host". MMA Junkie. Retrieved 7 February 2012. 
  36. ^ "Bellator 48 Moment - Pat Curran KO's Marlon Sandro". 
  37. ^ Stupp, Dann. "Bellator 48 results: Pat Curran wins tourney with highlight-reel head kick". MMA Junkie. Retrieved 7 February 2012. 
  38. ^ Whitman, Mike. "Bellator to Stream Season 5 Prelims Live on". Sherdog. Retrieved 7 February 2012. 
  39. ^ Knapp, Brian. "Dantas Upends Vila in Bellator 59 Bantamweight Final". Sherdog. Retrieved 7 February 2012. 
  40. ^ "Bellator 57 Moment". Retrieved 7 February 2012. 
  41. ^ Stupp, Dann. "Bellator 57 results: Douglas Lima and Alexander Shlemenko win tourney titles". MMA Junkie. Retrieved 7 February 2012. 
  42. ^ Holland, Jesse. "Bellator 59 Results: Eric Prindle gets kicked in the nuts by Thiago Santos". MMA Mania. Retrieved 7 February 2012. 
  43. ^ Non, Sergio (26 October 2011). "Viacom buys Bellator, plans 2013 start on Spike". USA Today. Retrieved 7 February 2012. 
  44. ^ "Viacom Purchases Bellator, Spike Will Air Starting 2013". Retrieved 7 February 2012. 
  45. ^ Weisman, Jon. "Fremantle jumps into MMA fray". Variety. Retrieved 7 February 2012. 
  46. ^ Chiapetta, Mike. "Eddie Alvarez vs. Michael Chandler Bellator 58 Fight Video". MMA Fighting. Retrieved 7 February 2012. 
  47. ^ "Bellator 58 Results and Play-by-Play". Bellator 58 Results and Play-by-Play. Sherdog. 
  48. ^ Bolender, Derek. "Bellator 58 results: Chandler blasts Alvarez in thriller to earn lightweight crown". MMA Junkie. Retrieved 7 February 2012. 
  49. ^ "Bellator 53 Moment - Douglas Lima KOs Chris Lozano". Retrieved 7 February 2012. 
  50. ^ "Bellator 51 Highlights". 
  51. ^ "Bellator's 'Fight Master' reality series set for summer debut on Spike TV". MMA Junkie. Retrieved 5 February 2013. 
  52. ^ "Bellator books June 19 summer series start with King Mo, reality show to debut next night". Retrieved 2013-04-23. 
  53. ^ "CHAPTER 467 - UNARMED COMBAT". Nevada State Athletic Commission. Retrieved 8 February 2012. 

External links

  • Bellator
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