A Guide to UFC vs Bellator
Professional MMA has surged in popularity over the course of the last decade. A sport that was once reserved for diehard fans is now followed by supporters the world over, both casual and avid. MMA bouts are hosted in every major city around the world with massive arenas packed to capacity with those wishing to catch a glimpse of the sport’s leading names.
Being ringside is as close to the action as you can get without being hit, but it’s not necessary to shell out the expensive ticket prices for the best seats in the house. You can also follow fights of note live on TV channels such as BT Sport and Sky Sports, the coverage beamed into your home or local sports bar for you to enjoy. It’s a great time to be a follower of MMA and interested is expected to grow further still as MMA challenges boxing for the title of best-loved combat sport.
UFC and Bellator Have Modernised MMA
This rise in popularity can be credited to the two major promotions in professional MMA – Ultimate Fighting Championship and Bellator. UFC and Bellator are behind much of the good work that has been done to modernise the sport, bringing it to the masses.
These promotions have led the way in gaining multi-million-pound sponsorship deals, paving the way for the best fighters to face-off against the best fighters. They’ve also marketed the bouts in such a way that major venues have sold out in minutes as sports fans buy into the hype.
If you are a fan of the mixed martial arts scene you will be aware of the improvements made by UFC and Bellator in all aspects, including prize money, coverage and even fighter safety. Both promotions are rivals but both work for the good of MMA. You’ll find the biggest and most exciting fights take place on either UFC or Bellator, but which brand is better?
That’s a question that has caused much debate in the industry over the years as both continue to rise. There is room for both at this party, but there can only be one major promotion. Which company deserve that label? It’s not a simple question to answer, of course, and to get near solving this puzzle you must look at and compare the benefits of both promotions side-by-side. That’s exactly what we set out to do in this article.
Champions Make the Promotion
We love the fact that UFC has one champion in every weight division. A thing that has upset many boxing fans in recent years is the number of champions and world champions in every division. That’s not a concern to those who follow the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
We have one world champion in each of the eight different classed, from flyweight through to heavyweight. That makes it much easier to follow and we understand who the best fighter is at each category. It also makes it even more exciting when a warrior moves up or down a division to challenge the ruler at that limit.
One thing that lets the UFC down on this front, however, is how they choose opponents for the champion. Several times in recent years we are left confused by just how a fighter has got a shot at the championship belt and, often, it has led to a one-sided contest. If a fighter earns a string of wins, he could be thrust into a title fight, even though it’s obvious he is not yet ready. There is a gulf in class between beating other contenders and taking on the ruler.
The easiest way to fix this would be in going back to the early days of UFC when they worked off a ranking system and you had to be number two in the world to face number one in the world. That makes for fewer shows and less money, perhaps, but the void could be filled with ranking fights between, for example, number 5 vs number 4. A ladder to the ceiling.
Bellator Shows Ambition
This is where Bellator shows ambition. They operate something like the old UFC format, setting out a competition format that produces a champion at the end. Bellator runs under the slogan – where title shots are earned, not given. An intentional low blow to the UFC or something the promotion believes. We’d happily side with the latter as Bellator has shown many times in the past they put giving fans what they want above profits.
Bellator runs a tournament-based competition which includes the best fighters at every weight category, lasting around three months. As well as resulting in a worthy champion, it also gives followers a long-term interest. You can follow the results from the start or join at any stage and you will know exactly where the division is at.
It’s a knockout form of competition, with the winners progressing to the next stage and the losers eliminated, taken out of the running for another season. Only the tournament winner earns the right to challenge the champion and that is seen as the fairest way to conduct business. Much better than gifting fighters a shot judged on recent form or popularity with fans.
No Right or Wrong Answer
This is just one positive to Bellator over UFC, but the latter has many benefits and with many fans, the Ultimate Fighting Championship lives up to its name and is top dog in the industry. As with most sports debates, it’s subjective and a case of what you like.
One being better than the other may be the wrong question to ask as both have their own merits, and both do great work for the sport of mixed martial arts. You can view the latest UFC or Bellator at any major betting site, including William Hill, bet365, Ladbrokes and Unibet.