BELLATOR TOURNAMENT STRUCTURE
Bellator follows a real sport tournament format, unique in fighting sports and different from other MMA promotions. At Bellator, “title shots are earned, not given”. Unlike other promotions that utilize matchmaking where executives determine who fights who and for what, Bellator’s champions and title challengers are determined by one thing; winning.
Tournaments are held in specific weight classes with eight (8) world-class fighters competing in each tournament.
The weight classes are Bantamweight, Featherweight, Lightweight, Welterweight, Middleweight, Light Heavyweight and Heavyweight.
Tournament quarterfinals are held first, and feature 8 fighters competing in 4 separate fights.
The semifinals feature the four winners of the quarter-finals, competing in two fights.
The winners of the semifinals advance to the finals.
The winner of the finals is the Bellator Tournament Champion and with the victory, guarantees themselves a title fight with the current Bellator World Champion.
Bellator Fighting Championships follows the Unified Rules of Mixed Martial Arts, which were first established in April of 2000. The Unified Rules of Mixed Martial Arts have been adopted by every state athletic commission that holds mixed martial arts events throughout the United States.
Under the Unified Rules of Mixed Martial Arts there are no groin strikes, eye gouging, kicking or kneeing a grounded opponent, downward elbows, strikes to the back of the head, head butting, biting, or grabbing the fence. Upon a violation of the rules, referee can either warn the fighter, take a point away, or disqualify the fighter depending upon the regularity and severity of the foul.
In Bellator’s tournaments, no elbows are allowed in the quarter-finals and semi-finals.
All non-world championship fights in Bellator consist of 3 five-minute rounds, with one-minute rest periods between rounds. All world championship fights in Bellator consist of 5 five-minute rounds, with one-minute rest periods between rounds.
Bellator follows the 10 Point Must System, which has been adopted by the Unified Rules of Mixed Martial Arts. Under this system, the fighter who wins the round is given 10 points, with the losing fighter given 9 points or less. If a judge scores the round even, then the score for that round is 10-10.
Women - maximum 125lbs.
Bantamweight - maximum 135 lbs.
Featherweight - maximum 145 lbs.
Lightweight - maximum 155 lbs.
Welterweight - maximum 170 lbs.
Middleweight - maximum 185 lbs.
Light Heavyweight - maximum 205 lbs.
Heavyweight - maximum 265 lbs.