Combat SportsMMA

What is Bellator MMA? – Part one

Bellator MMA (formerly Bellator Fighting Championships) is an American mixed martial arts organisation with headquarters in Santa Monica, California. It was created in 2008 and is a subsidiary of Paramount Global, a media and entertainment company. It is one of the biggest combat sport promotions worldwide and the second biggest in the United States. Belltor, the Latin word meaning “warrior,” serves as the basis for the name of the promotion.

Bellator’s debut event took place in 2009, and as of December 2019, the organisation had hosted more than 200 “numbered” occasions. Vadim Nemkov, Kyoji Horiguchi, Yoel Romero, Yaroslav Amosov, Patrcio Pitbull, Cris Cyborg, A. J. McKee, Michael Page, Douglas Lima, Usman Nurmagomedov, Gegard Mousasi, and Sergio Pettis are among the performers in the promotion. Under the Bellator brand, competitors have included Eddie Alvarez, Michael Chandler, Ben Askren, Anthony Johnson, Rory MacDonald, and Fedor Emelianenko.


Bjorn Rebney, the company’s CEO and chairman, created Bellator in 2008. [2] [3] Events for Bellator were organised around single-elimination tournaments while it was owned by Rebney. [Reference needed] Bellator’s controlling ownership was acquired by Viacom in December 2011.

Bellator had its first pay-per-view event from the Landers Center in May 2014.

Both Chairman/CEO Bjorn Rebney and President Tim Danaher’s resignations were made public in June 2014.

Scott Coker, the creator of Strikeforce, took over from Rebney. Early in 2015, Bellator would abandon its season-long tournament format and switch to a more conventional, single-fight event schedule under Coker. Bellator has held divisional grand-prix competitions since 2018.

Broadcast partners

Bellator fights have primarily been shown on Viacom-owned networks in the US since the fourth season in 2011. Following the termination of Spike’s contract with the UFC and starting in January 2013, Bellator telecasts were relocated from MTV2 to Spike (later rebranded as Paramount Network in 2018).  Fox Sports Latin America and Bellator struck a multi-year collaboration agreement in September 2013.

Bellator announced a five-year streaming agreement with DAZN on June 26, 2018, which would encompass the United States and other markets covered by the sports-focused streaming service. This contains all Bellator events since Bellator 206 as well as seven unique cards per year.  Bellator established a partnership with ESPN Brasil in March 2020 to broadcast events there.

Bellator MMA: Recharged, a recap series, premiered on CBS Sports Network on April 25, 2020, following Viacom’s re-merger with CBS Corporation in 2019.

The agreement with DAZN was prematurely and voluntarily terminated in 2020 due to issues resulting from the COVID-19 epidemic. Bellator shows were announced to migrate to CBS Sports Network on September 11, 2020, with preliminary matches streaming on YouTube and before the switch.

It was revealed that Bellator matches would only be broadcast on Showtime starting with Bellator 255 on April 2, 2021, five months later, on February 9, 2021.

The BBC will also stream Bellator events on BBC iPlayer in the United Kingdom, it was revealed the next day.


Fight Master

Fight Master: Bellator MMA, a new reality competition series, was announced by Bellator and Spike on February 5, 2013. 32 welterweight competitors will compete in the series, which will be coached and trained by Randy Couture, Frank Shamrock, Greg Jackson, and Joe Warren. The 32 fighters fought live in the season finale to determine who would advance to Bellator’s autumn welterweight tournament. The show had its Spike debut on June 19, 2013, and it only lasted one season.

Tournament History

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

Events from Bellator’s inaugural season were shown nationally on ESPN Deportes in the US. On April 3, 2009, Bellator 1 took place. It was tape delayed, like many other events that season. In the middleweight, welterweight, lightweight, and featherweight weight classes, competitions were held, and the champions were crowned the first Bellator World Champions in their respective weight categories. Lyman Good defeated Omar De La Cruz to win the Bellator Welterweight Title, while Héctor Lombard won the middleweight tournament by defeating Jared Hess in the championship match. Also, Joe Soto won the Bellator Featherweight Championship by defeating Yahir Reyes, while Eddie Alvarez won the Bellator Lightweight Championship by defeating Toby Imada. Jon gave colour commentary for Bellator’s first season.

  • Winners:
Weight DivisionWinnerRunner-UpEvent
MiddleweightHéctor LombardJared HessBellator 12
WelterweightLyman GoodOmar De La CruzBellator 11
LightweightEddie AlvarezToby ImadaBellator 12
FeatherweightJoe SotoYahir ReyesBellator 10

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

Events from Bellator’s second season were broadcast nationally in the US on FOX Sports Net. Season two, which premiered on April 8, 2010, held competitions in the middleweight, welterweight, lightweight, and featherweight weight classes, same like season one. Ben Askren defeated Dan Hornbuckle to win the 170 lb tournament, while Alexander Shlemenko defeated Bryan Baker to win the middleweight division.  Also, Joe Warren (fighter) defeated Patricio Pitbull to win the featherweight tournament, while Pat Curran defeated Toby Imada to win the lightweight competition. The winners of the Season 2 tournament received a $100,000 cheque and a chance to face the Season 1 Champions in the final.

Season 2 was the first to feature non-tournament, non-title super fights for reigning champions in addition to the tournament matches. During Season 2, three of Bellator’s four champions engaged in super bouts. When Hector Lombard defeated Jay Silva in a catch weight match at Bellator 18, he achieved the fastest knockout in Bellator history.  Moreover, at Bellator 17, Eddie Alvarez, the light heavyweight champion, knocked out Josh Neer in a catch weight match, and at Bellator 19, Joe Soto defeated Diego Saraiva via technical knockout. The only champion who skipped a season two non-title super fight was welterweight champion Lyman Good. During Season 2, Bellator also debuted the new commentary duo of Jimmy Smith and Sean Wheelock.

  • Winners:
Weight DivisionWinnerRunner-UpEvent
MiddleweightAlexander ShlemenkoBryan BakerBellator 23
WelterweightBen AskrenDan HornbuckleBellator 22
LightweightPat CurranToby ImadaBellator 21
FeatherweightJoe WarrenPatricio FreireBellator 23


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

On August 12, 2010, tournaments in the bantamweight, heavyweight, and women’s divisions marked the beginning of Bellator’s third season. At Bellator 32, Zach Makovsky defeated Ed West to win the 135-pound competition and become the first-ever Bellator Bantamweight Champion. Cole Konrad defeated Neil Grove by submission to win the heavyweight competition and become the first heavyweight champion in Bellator history that same evening.  When Zoila Gurgel defeated Megumi Fujii at Bellator 34, she became the first Bellator Women’s Champion. At Bellator 27, the reigning Bellator Featherweight Champion Joe Soto faced battle against the Season 2 Tournament Winner Joe Warren in the first official title defence. To win the new Bellator Featherweight Title, Warren defeated Soto via Knockout.

Hector Lombard successfully defended his Bellator middleweight title by defeating Season 2 Tournament Winner Alexander Shlemenko[45] and Season 2 Welterweight Tournament Winner Ben Askren successfully defended his title by defeating incumbent champion Lyman Good to become the new Bellator Welterweight Champion.  Some of the notable events from Bellator’s third season include Hector Lombard’s 38-second knockout of Herbert Goodman at Bellator 24 and Eddie Alvarez’s third-round TKO victory over UFC veteran Roger Huerta in a non-title bout.

Season Four – The MTV2 Partnership


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