Bellator events are almost always structured in an 8-fighter tournament format where a fighter must win three fights (quarters, semis and finals) to be crowned champion.
The format is far different than either UFC or Strikeforce, and Bellator promotes this difference through their motto: Where title shots are earned, not given.
With a trove of recognizable stars, a fan-friendly TV deal and a steady stream of “fun fights”, Bellator has firmly cemented its status as MMA’s No. 2 organization. In fact, there have been a number of former UFC fighters who have left the octagon to test the waters of former Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker’s organization.
Perhaps the best part of Bellator is that almost all of their cards are aired free on SpikeTV, meaning you can spend the money you’d dish out for a pay-per-view card to wager on favorable lines instead. At Gamblers Palace, our MMA betting experts will alert you on favorable odds, upset picks and betting guides for every upcoming card
Bellator 181 takes place on Friday, July 14, 2017 at the Winstar Casino in Thackerville, Oklahoma. The main card airs live on Spike TV starting 9 p.m. ET. Lightweight contenders Brandon Girtz and Derek Campos meet in the main event.
Brandon Girtz and Derek Campos will meet for a third time, with the series tied at 1-1. The lightweights will clash in the main event of Bellator 181 on July 14, headlining a modest night after the recent pay-per-view extravaganza in late June.
Bellator 178: Straus vs. Freire 4
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Bellator has no problem putting on freak show fights just for the entertainment of fight fans. While carnival fights have zero impact on world rankings, the promotion has proved time and time again that many will tune in due to sheer curiosity.
Who can forget when Floridian backyard brawlers Kimbo Slice and Dada 5000 squared off for the title of “King of the Streets”? The UFC’s first-ever champion, the legendary Royce Gracie, returned to the ring at the tender age of 49 to meet fellow Hall of Famer Ken Shamrock in an entertaining bout.
No other promotion puts on a carnival fight like Bellator. If there’s a demand for a certain fight, Bellator will find a way to make it happen. Their willingness to co-promote also allows them to draw from an international pool of fighters.
Don’t think that Bellator depends solely on UFC alums. There are plenty of very good fighters who have captured spots in the world rankings through their Bellator resumes. Among them is light heavyweight champion Liam McGeary, who is a perfect 11-0 thus far in his pro career, with wins over Emanuel Newton and Tito Ortiz. Heavyweight Vitaly Minakov is also an intriguing fighter, with a 17-0 record fighting concurrently for Bellator and regional Russian promotions. Welterweight champion Andrey Koreshkov just laid a beatdown on former UFC lightweight champion Benson Henderson and made it look easy. Patricio “Putbull” Freire, Daniel Straus and Joe Warren have been putting on thrilling lighter weight fights for the better part of five years now.
But perhaps the most compelling Bellator fighter is Michael Page, whose brash personality and confident manner is comparable with guys like Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Conor McGregor. He also fights like he’s auditioning for the next Jet Li movie, with his flashy strikes and showstopping finishes.
Although Bellator odds generally release a few days before fight night, it gives casual gamblers an advantage as there’s not much time for big bettors to swing the lines. Make sure to check in at Gamblers Palace for the latest betting guides to upcoming events.
Take a look at a few of the biggest upsets in the promotion’s history.
Bellator has made a slew of recent high-profile signings. Former UFC contenders like Phil Davis and Benson Henderson have recently signed with Bellator, both were top-7 fighters inside the octagon. Matt Mitrione, a former top-10 UFC heavyweight, has also signed with the promotion.
Other recognizable faces include WWE superstar Bobby Lashley, Muhammad “King Mo” Lawal, former Pride and UFC champion Quinton “Rampage” Jackson, UFC Hall of Famer Tito Ortiz, former Pride champion Wanderlei Sliva, former Strikeforce champion Josh Thomson and longtime knockout artists Melvin Manhoef and Evangelista “Cyborg” Santos.
Slowly but surely, Bellator is expanding its roster and signing fighters that could easily headline pay-per- view cards.
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