Bellator vs. UFC: Everything You Need to Know in 2023

Bellator is an American mixed martial arts organization. It is a division of Paramount Global, a media and entertainment company. Compared with other sports media, it promotes sports globally and took second place in the United States.

The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) is working in the promotion of the MMA business with headquarters in Las Vegas, Nevada. They successfully monetize the whole management of MMA.  Within 2011 it became the biggest MMA promotion organization in the world.

The main difference between UFC and Bellator is the top fighters, and the most challenging competition can be found at UFC. UFC directly works with professional fighters, whereas Bellator works with struggling fighters.

Here you will get a real comparison of each association and your real supporting team.

History of Bellator and UFC

Origin and formation of Bellator

Bjorn Rebney, the chairman, established Bellator in 2008. For the first time, Rebney organized single-elimination tournaments at its early stage of making. Viacom acquired Bellator’s controlling ownership in December 2011.

After successful formation, the management launched its first pay-per-view event from the Landers Center in May 2014.

Because of some internal issues, both Chairman/CEO Bjorn Rebney and President Tim Danaher’s resignations were made public in June 2014. Scott Coker, the creator of Strikeforce, took power of attorney after Reney’s leave.

In 2015, Bellator switched to a more conventional, single-fight event schedule under Coker.

Origin and formation of UFC

UFC, which began as a commercial mixed martial arts (MMA) corporation in 1993, transformed the fight industry and worked as the largest Pay-Per-View (PPV) event provider worldwide and a premium global sports brand.

A Brazilian style of MMA called Vale Tudo (anything goes) first attracted attention in the region about 80 years ago. Then, UFC introduced structured approved MMA to the country.

The martial arts events, including karate, jiu-jitsu, boxing, and more, were intended to identify “the Ultimate Fighting Champion.”

Key Events and Milestones


The major events and milestones are mentioned below:

  • Events from “Fight Night” got the best fantastic show award from American Sports Association.
  • Events from “The Ultimate Fighter Finale,” Got the best professional fighting tournament award.
  • ABC is currently airing “UFC on ABC” events. Has achieved the public priority award.


The major events are also quite popular.

  • Bellator MMA vs Rizin FF and Rizin 40 are usually held at the end of the year.  It got the most iconic game award.
  • Bellator 281 got real-time viral and achieved the title of most aggressive game.
  • Nowadays, Bellator 279 is entertaining as a leading tag team match, and it gets the woman’s priority votes as a top game.

Differences in Rules and Regulations

Bellator Rules


Bellator fights for local championships typically last three rounds of five minutes each, with 1-minute rest. Bellator uses a five-round format for all world championship fights, with one-minute breaks.


Bellator uses the ten points here, which have been included in the Unified Rules of Mixed Martial Arts. Here the winner receives 10 points, while the loser receives 9 points or fewer.

Weight Categories

There is a 1-pound weight accepted in non-championship matches. The participants in championship matches may not be accepted like a local one.

UFC Rules


Either three or five rounds are used in UFC fights. Regular matches typically last three rounds, whereas championship matches and main events last five. The UFC uses five-minute rounds with a one-minute pause.


Ten-point is used to score UFC fights. Three judges monitor and award 10 points to the round’s winner and 9 or fewer (8 or, very rarely, 7) points to the loser.

Weight Categories

The fighter must need to balance the weight under the UFC official weigh-ins. There are now 12 weight classes in the UFC.

Differences in Weight Classes and Rounds

Weight Classes

Bellator offers fewer weight divisions than the UFC. The UFC has eight weight classes for men, ranging from Flyweight (125) to Heavyweight (265). It is 4 weight classes for women, ranging from strawweight (115 pounds) to featherweight (145).

With a few exceptions, Bellator competes in the same weight classes. Currently, it has a regret Flyweight division for men and a Strawweight division for women.


For instance, in Bellator, only title fights are five rounds long, whereas non-title fights are only three. But unlike Bellator, every main event in the UFC is five rounds long, whether for a title or not.

Impact on the Fighters and Fights

Paddy Pimblett

Paddy Pimblett made a huge impact and wrote the name of the biggest superstar of the future.

Sean O’Malley

As one of the UFC’s fastest-rising stars, “Sugar” experienced a significant increase in popularity and established himself as a legitimate title contender.

Fighter Talent and Roster

Bellator Fighters and Their Achievements

Rory MacDonald

He was honored as one of the best fighters after entering the Bellator cage. In his promotional debut, MacDonald dispatched Paul Daley with ease.

At Bellator 192, MacDonald prevailed over Douglas Lima in a thrilling struggle to win the welterweight championship. He achieved the ”The Red King” title.

A.J. McKee

McKee has prevailed in every MMA match. While McKee’s first half-dozen victories came against opponents who were outmatched, he has excelled in his last six fights despite facing tougher opposition. He is serving as one of the foundation’s reliable players.

UFC Fighters and Their Achievements

Dominick Cruz

He is known to be a top artist due to his unconventional style. He dominated the ground as a leader.

Max Holloway

One of the most thrilling combatants in UFC history. Every time, Max Holloway delivers a stunning performance. Holloway is a true fighter who enjoys standing, banging, and putting on a show whenever he enters the Octagon.

Comparison of the Overall Talent Level

Every professional artist wants to join the UFC a, UKy in his/her career. The Fighters get the most effective professional platform and the best-desired popularity through UFC.

Stars are created in the UFC, but Bellator also produces stars as its viewership has increased. Bellator makes the most potential fighters capable of leading the branding.

Promotion and Marketing

UFC’s Approach to Promotion and Marketing

To create the establishment, the company developed a perfect sales funnel that begins with free material and gradually leads users toward paid content. However, they brought changes in marketing ideas like focusing on the human element, using incentives to generate buzz, seeking the right collaborations, putting strategy front and center, etc.

Bellator’s Approach to Promotion and Marketing

It created a stronger possibility for international expansion online.

Its most recent innovation, the European Series, aims to take advantage of the continents, UK, and Ireland’s expanding talent pools.

Coker thinks that UFC is not taking advantage of programs as the UFC only visits England once a year, so they will expand the show several times and make promotions with superstars.

Differences in Viewership and Fan Base

Anyone who watches television is considered a viewer of that program, even if they are not necessarily fans. At the same time, the fan base develops considerably stronger bonds with specific celebrities. They have a deep lifestyle attachment to stars.

Financial Aspects

Bellator’s Financials and Revenue Streams

The revenue went high day by day. But it isn’t easy to know the face value. That makes it difficult to show losses. The cheap broadcasting system through Viacom enriched the profit and reached 100 million dollars in 2020.

UFC’s Financials and Revenue Streams

The benefits are enriched dramatically after applying the best marketing strategies, programs, online audience building, and income.

  • EBITDA rose by 58% YoY to US$314.4 million.
  • Professional Bull Riders set 10 all-time gross sales event records in 2022. The sub-total increased to between US$5.24 billion and US$5.48 billion.

Comparison of Prize Money and Fighter Compensation

The Prize money is much higher for UFC than Bellator, as global recognition is higher for UFC. The average UFC fighter earned $160,022 in 2021 compared to $146,673 in 2020 where Bellator fighters get one-third of UFC most of the time.


Its popularity is much higher than UFC, and making a decent professional career is helpful. But Bellator is the best platform that will give the lead for UFC career growth.

The people who want to enjoy the game can watch the UFC function, but it is essential to enjoy and skill up from Bellator.

UFC should make the communication system flexible with new countries online. Therefore it will get real-time establishment over the globe. At the same time, Bellator should pay attention to branding and make people understand its value.

It is essential to identify the income, damages, how children are affected, a possible solution for children, etc.

Golam Muktadir is a passionate sports fan and a dedicated movie buff. He has been writing about both topics for over a decade and has a wealth of knowledge and experience to share with his readers. Muktadir has a degree in journalism and has written for several well-known publications, including Surprise Sports.