Does UFC Own Bellator? | Easily Explained
There are many MMA organizations in the world, and it can become overwhelming trying to keep up with who owns what.
In this page, we will explain if the UFC owns Bellator, and what promotions the UFC has purchased over the years.
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Does UFC Own Bellator?
The UFC does not own Bellator, as Bellator is owned by Paramount Global. Additionally, the UFC and Bellator are separate, competing Mixed Martial Art organizations, as they consistently put on events while competing for viewers (and fighters).
Although the UFC is known as the pinnacle of MMA, Bellator is a major competitor along with other promotions such as the Professional Fighters League (PFL) and ONE Championship.
UFC Fighters Leave to Bellator
Many former UFC fighters (and some former champions) have left the UFC and signed to Bellator, as Bellator offered them a better financial contract when their UFC contract expired.
Some of those fighters include:
- Quinton 'Rampage' Jackson
- Anthony 'Rumble' Johnson
- Tito Ortiz
- Gegard Mousasi
- Cheick Kongo
- Sergio Pettis
- Corey Anderson
- Ryan Bader
What Else Does UFC Own?
The UFC has acquired major promotions over the years that has given them an immediate influx of talent.
UFC Purchases WEC
In 2006, the UFC purchased World Extreme Cagefighting (WEC), which was a MMA organization focused on the lighter weight classes.
During this time, there was a viewership problem with the average MMA fan having interest in watching the smaller and shorter fighter bouts.
The UFC was able to address this and bring in notable talent that would completely change the way fans saw the lighter weight classes.
Some of that talent includes:
- Jose Aldo - UFC Featherweight Champion
- Dominick Cruz - UFC Bantamweight Champion
- Demetrious Johnson - UFC Flyweight Champion
- Urijah Faber
- Anthony Pettis - UFC Lightweight Champion
- Benson Henderson - UFC Lightweight Champion
- Gilbert Melendez
All of these fighters would win and/or challenge for the belt at some point during their UFC careers.
That's not to say that the WEC didn't have talent in their heavier weight classes as some notable fighters who fought in the WEC include:
- Nick Diaz
- Brian Stann
UFC Purchases Strikeforce
Five years after the UFC acquired WEC, in 2011, the UFC would acquire Strikeforce.
This was another brilliant move that paid off tremendously as many Strikeforce fighters would become dominant UFC champions, and at the very least become contenders for the UFC belt.
Unlike the WEC acquisition, this would bring on immediate talent at almost all of their divisions
Some of the fighters that were acquired and went on to have success in the UFC include:
- Daniel Cormier - UFC Champion in Light Heavyweight and Heavyweight
- Fabricio Werdum - UFC Heavyweight Champion
- Robbie Lawler - UFC Welterweight Champion
- Luke Rockhold - UFC Middleweight Champion
- Alistair Overeem
- Dan Henderson
- Tim Kennedy
- Gegard Mousasi
- Ronaldo 'Jacare' Souza
Ironically the CEO of Strikeforce at that time was Scott Coker, who would eventually become the president of Bellator.