UFC vs. Bellator

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UFC vs. Bellator: The complete head-to-head history

UFC vs Bellator

The two most recognizable brands in MMA today are the UFC and Bellator. Housing the vast majority of the world’s most talented fighters, there’s always a discussion to be had about “who is better?”

Going into this past Saturday night, a topic on the minds of many during fight week, thanks to Joe Rogan and Brendan Schaub, was whether or not the best from Bellator can hang in the UFC. A debate that truly can’t be settled until we see it happen. Although to be totally fair, we have seen it on multiple occasions.

The perhaps most popular examples being with former Bellator kings Eddie Alvarez and Hector Lombard. Two men whose success went in opposite directions despite being two of Bellator’s all-time greatest fighters.

We’ve also seen it in the other direction with UFC mainstays like Rory MacDonald and Gegard Mousasi jumping ship. Two men who wound up becoming champions, but weren’t as dominant as maybe they were expected to be.

As for the past weekend itself, we saw the event pairing of Bellator 238 and UFC Raleigh taking place. The day marked the 40th time that the promotions have held head-to-head events on the same day.

Bellator began its existence in 2009 as the very first event went down on April 3. It wouldn’t be until March 29, 2011, that they would challenge their 18-year old counterpart with a same day event. That being Bellator 37 vs. UFC 128.

In the headlining bouts of each card, we saw two future legends in the infancy of their legacies. For the UFC, it was the event that Jon Jones made history by becoming the youngest champion in promotional history. Thus leading to a legendary reign over the 205-pound division – something that to this day has remained intact … but not without some speed bumps along the way.

Bellator 37 saw Patricio “Pitbull” Freire get a big TKO victory over Georgi Karakhanyan to advance through the featherweight tournament. The younger of the two Pitbull brothers would go on to become the current featherweight and lightweight champion. Along with that, he holds numerous Bellator records and is the winningest fighter the organization has ever seen.

This most recent clashing of events saw featherweight queen Cris “Cyborg” Justino make some more history of her own. In the Bellator 238 main event, Cyborg would obtain her fourth championship in a major promotion by taking out Bellator’s only 145-pound champion, Julia Budd.

While Cyborg just made her Bellator debut, this wasn’t her first time being featured on one of these head-to-head fight days. The bout marked her third fight on such an occasion and her first as a representative of Bellator. The first two coming in her UFC debut at UFC 198 on May 14, 2016, and the other being her second title defense against Yana Kunitskaya at UFC 222 on March 3, 2018.

As the years have gone on, there have only been more same day events between the two fight leagues as 2019 held a record high of nine. A number that should actually be as high as 10 but that was changed due to the cancelation of UFC 233 on January 26.

In a rare instance, we even saw the UFC hold two events on the same day against a Bellator card with UFC Sao Paulo and UFC Belfast against Bellator 165 on November 19, 2016.

UFC vs Bellator – Head-to-head events per year since first:

  • 2020 – 1 (so far)
  • 2019 – 9
  • 2018 – 6
  • 2017 – 4
  • 2016 – 7
  • 2015 – 0
  • 2014 – 4
  • 2013 – 0
  • 2012 – 2
  • 2011 – 7

Number of times titles were on the line:

  • 2020 – 1 (so far)
  • 2019 – 10 (Bellator: 8, UFC 2)
  • 2018 – 7 (UFC: 4, Bellator: 3)
  • 2017 – 6 (Bellator: 5, UFC: 1)
  • 2016 – 8 (Bellator: 4, UFC: 4)
  • 2014 – 3 (Bellator: 2, UFC: 1)
  • 2011 – 7 (UFC: 5, Bellator: 2)

Times we saw title vs. title events:

  • 2020 – 0 (so far)
  • 2019 – 1 (UFC 237 vs. Bellator 221, May 11)
  • 2018 – 1 (UFC 220 vs. Bellator 192, January 20)
  • 2014 – 1 (UFC 180 vs. Bellator 131, November 15)

Fighters that have fought on head-to-head events for each promotion and the number of time doing so:

  • Gegard Mousasi – 5 (3 in UFC, 2 in Bellator)
  • Ryan Bader – 4 (2 in Bellator, 2 in UFC)
  • Benson Henderson – 4 (3 in Bellator, 1 in UFC)
  • Blagoy Ivanov – 4 (3 in Bellator, 1 in UFC)
  • Cris Cyborg – 3 (2 in UFC, 1 in Bellator)
  • Phil Davis – 3 (2 in Bellator, 1 in UFC)
  • Ben Saunders – 3 (2 in Bellator, 1 in UFC)
  • Hector Lombard – 2
  • Jessica Aguilar – 2
  • Wilson Reis – 2
  • Chael Sonnen – 2

Some notable fighters’ number of times fought on head-to-head events:

  • Patricio Pitbull – 5 (all Bellator)
  • Ilima-Lei Macfarlane – 4 (all Bellator)
  • Darrion Caldwell – 4 (all Bellator)
  • Henry Corrales – 4 (all Bellator)
  • AJ McKee – 4 (all Bellator)
  • Douglas Lima – 4 (all Bellator)
  • Fabricio Werdum – 3 (all UFC)
  • Rose Namajunas – 3 (all UFC)
  • Junior Dos Santos – 3 (all UFC)
  • Chan Sung Jung – 3 (all UFC)

2020, like 2018, got off to a hot start and fight fans are only getting treated to bigger and better amounts of action when these events are scheduled. It will be exciting to see what the future holds as the competition only continues to heat up.

But for now, the complete head-to-head history between the UFC and Bellator can be seen below.

 

Jan. 25, 2020

UFC Raleigh

UFC vs Bellator

Bellator 238

UFC vs Bellator

 

Dec. 21, 2019

UFC Busan

Bellator 236

UFC vs Bellator

 

Oct. 12, 2019

UFC Tampa

UFC vs Bellator

Bellator Milan / Bellator 230 / Bellator Kickboxing 12

 

Sep. 28, 2019

UFC Copenhagen

Bellator 228

UFC vs Bellator

 

Sep. 7, 2019

UFC 242

Bellator 226

 

Jun. 22, 2019

UFC Greenville

Bellator London / Bellator 223

 

May 11, 2019

UFC 237

Bellator 221

 

May 4, 2019

UFC Ottawa

Bellator Birmingham

 

Apr. 27, 2019

UFC Fort Lauderdale

Bellator 220

 

Feb. 23, 2019

UFC Prague

Bellator 217

 

Jan. 26, 2019

UFC 233 (Canceled)

Originally featured:

  • (C)Henry Cejudo vs. (BW C)TJ Dillashaw
  • Robbie Lawler vs. Ben Askren
  • Joseph Benavidez vs. Deiveson Figueiredo
  • Cortney Casey vs. Cynthia Calvillo
  • James Vick vs. Paul Felder
  • Aleksandra Albu vs. Emily Whitmire
  • Markus Perez vs. Anthony Hernandez
  • Marion Reneau vs. Yana Kunitskaya
  • Kron Gracie vs. Alex Caceres
  • Manny Bermudez vs. Benito Lopez

Bellator 214

 

Dec. 15, 2018

UFC on Fox 31

Bellator 213

 

Nov. 30, 2018

The Ultimate Fighter 28 Finale

Bellator 210

 

Jul. 14, 2018

UFC Boise

Bellator 203

 

May 12, 2018

UFC 224

UFC vs Bellator

Bellator 199

UFC vs Bellator

 

Mar. 3, 2018

UFC 222

UFC vs Bellator

Bellator: Monster Energy Fight Series: Atlanta

UFC vs Bellator

 

Jan. 20, 2018

UFC 220

UFC vs Bellator

Bellator 192

UFC vs Bellator

 

Dec. 9, 2017

UFC Fresno

UFC vs Bellator

Bellator 190

UFC vs Bellator

 

Nov. 19, 2017

UFC Sydney

UFC vs Bellator

Bellator: Monster Energy Fight Series: Homestead

UFC vs Bellator

 

Sep. 23, 2017

UFC Saitama

Bellator 183 / Bellator Kickboxing 7

UFC vs Bellator

 

Apr. 8, 2017

UFC 210

UFC vs Bellator

Bellator 176 / Bellator Kickboxing 5

UFC vs Bellator

 

Dec. 10, 2016

UFC 206

Bellator 168 / Bellator Kickboxing 4

 

Dec. 3, 2016

The Ultimate Fighter 24 Finale

Bellator 167

 

Nov. 19, 2016

UFC Belfast

UFC

UFC Sao Paulo

UFC

Bellator 165

 

Sep. 17, 2016

UFC Hidalgo

UFC vs Bellator

Bellator Kickboxing 3

UFC vs Bellator

 

Jul. 23, 2016

UFC 201

UFC

Bellator 159

 

May 14, 2016

UFC 198

UFC

Bellator 154

UFC vs Bellator

 

Apr. 16, 2016

UFC Tampa

UFC vs Bellator

Bellator 152 / Bellator Kickboxing 1

 

Nov. 15, 2014

UFC 180

UFC vs Bellator

Bellator 131

 

Sep. 5, 2014

UFC Connecticut

UFC

Bellator 123

UFC vs Bellator

 

Apr. 11, 2014

UFC Abu Dhabi

UFC

Bellator 116

UFC vs Bellator

 

Oct. 5 – 2012

UFC on FX 5

UFC

Bellator 75

UFC vs Bellator

 

Jun. 22, 2012

UFC on FX 4

UFC

Bellator 71

UFC vs Bellator

 

Nov. 19, 2011

UFC 139

UFC

Bellator 58

 

Nov. 12, 2011

UFC on Fox 1

UFC

Bellator 57

 

Oct. 29, 2011

UFC 137

UFC

Bellator 56

 

Oct. 8, 2011

UFC 136

UFC vs Bellator

Bellator 53

UFC vs Bellator

 

Oct. 1, 2011

UFC on Versus 6

UFC vs Bellator

Bellator 52

 

Mar. 26, 2011

UFC Fight Night 24

UFC

Bellator 38

 

Mar. 19, 2011

UFC 128

UFC

Bellator 37

UFC vs Bellator

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