A Complete List of the Current Bellator Champions

Here are the Bellator Champions across every weight class

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MMA continues to be one of the fastest-growing sports in the world and although the UFC is by far the big dog in the market—fans even mistake UFC for being the name of the sport—there are multiple organizations for fans to choose from. Bellator is easily the second biggest worldwide promotion. To help you get to know it better, here’s an introduction to every belt holder in the league. They are as follows:

  • Heavyweight Champion: Ryan Bader (28-6)
  • Light Heavyweight Champion: Vadim Nemkov (14-2)
  • Middleweight Champion: Gregard Mousasi (47-7-2)
  • Welterweight Champion: Douglas Lima (32-8)
  • Lightweight Champion: Patricio Freire (32-4)
  • Featherweight Champion: Patricio Freire (32-4)
  • Bantamweight Champion: Juan Archuleta (25-2)
  • Women’s Featherweight Champion: Cris Cyborg (23-2)
  • Women’s Flyweight Champion: Juliana Velasquez (11-0)

Heavyweight Champion: Ryan Bader (28-6)

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Astonishingly, Ryan Bader is just the fourth heavyweight champion in Bellator’s history. He won the title by beating all-time great Fedor Emelianenko at Bellator 214 last year, the same night he won the Bellator Heavyweight World Grand Prix. The title was vacant before that. His MMA fight history is a who’s who of recent heavyweight and light heavyweight history in MMA, with names like Jon Jones, Rampage, Lyoto Machida and Tito Ortiz on there from his UFC run. Since debuting in 2007, Bader has proved himself in not one, but two different divisions.

Light Heavyweight Champion: Vadim Nemkov (14-2)

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Being a double champ in MMA is revered because it is so difficult. Bader held that title for some time in Bellator, but there is always someone waiting in the shadows. For Bader, that man was Vadim Nemkov. The intimidating sambo fighter captured the title when he defeated Bader via TKO in the second round of their 2020 matchup. Nemkov is considered one of the best in the world at 205 pounds and is mentored by MMA legend, Fedor Emelianenko. His most recent fight was a title defence where he defeated Phil Davis via unanimous decision.

Middleweight Champion: Gregard Mousasi (47-7-2)

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Rafael Lovato Jr. (10-0) beat Gegard Mousasi in London fair and square (even if Mousasi doesn’t think so), which only makes what happened next all the more devastating. The undefeated champion then got the news that the cerebral cavernoma that he had previously been diagnosed with was more serious than initially thought of and in the weeks after the bout, multiple commissions in Europe stated that they would no longer clear Lovato to compete in the future. Going off of the advice of his doctors, he decided to take some time off and has not formally announced his retirement. Mousasi was booked to fight Douglas Lima for the vacant 185lb title and won the bout via unanimous decision. There is no denying that Mousasi is one of the scariest competitors in the division.

Welterweight Champion: Douglas Lima (32-8)

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Douglas Lima had a viral moment when he knocked out MVP and that gave him all of the momentum he could have wanted heading into his rematch with Rory Macdonald. It ended up being a fight that born again Christian was never really in, but never really out of. Lima edged it on the scorecards and won the championship along with the Welterweight Grand Prix and the prize of $1 million. Despite the fact that Bellator often plays second fiddle to the UFC, many believe that Lima would give the top UFC welterweights in the world a run for their money at the very least. A champ vs. champ bout with Kamaru Usman is a dream fight.

Lightweight Champion: Patricio Freire (32-4)

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Widely considered the best and most accomplished fighter in Bellator history, Patricio ‘Pitbull’ Freire made quick work of three time lightweight champion Michael Chandler in May of 2019, winning via TKO in just 61 seconds. It was Pitbull’s second fight in the division after he moved up years before to avenge his brother’s loss to Ben Henderson, a fight he lost due to injury. Freire is the kind of fighter organisations dream of...

Featherweight Champion: Patricio Freire (32-4)

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...and that’s because he’s one of Bellator’s two active double champions. 145lbs is certainly Pitbull’s bread and butter though. In 2013 he lost a title fight to Pat Curran but after rallying back in the division with a four fight win streak that same year, he won a rematch. He later lost the belt to Daniel Straus but beat Straus in 2017 and hasn’t lost a fight since. There’s value in avenging losses and all of that is what makes Patricio Freire arguably Bellator’s king.

Bantamweight Champion: Juan Archuleta (25-2)

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The California native captured the Bellator vacant title when he defeated Patchy Mix at Bellator 246 in Connecticut. Archuleta trains with some of the biggest names in the game and there is no doubt that his hours spent with the likes of TJ Dillashaw and Chito Vera helped him earn the unanimous decision victory. Archuleta is set to defend his belt against Bellator newcomer, Sergio Pettis, in May.

Women’s Featherweight Champion: Cris Cyborg (23-2-1)

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Cyborg’s UFC exit was unfortunate, with Dana White claiming the former champ was scared of a rematch with Amanda Nunes despite her real problem being with her contract. No problem though because Bellator was happy to have her and immediately gave her a fight with their 145lb champion Julia Budd back in January. Cris got the win in the fourth round and quickly became maybe the most popular fighter in the organisation.

Women’s Flyweight Champion: Juliana Velasquez (11-0)

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Ilima-Lei Macfarlane lost the Bellator title to Velasquez in December of 2020. Velasquez remains undefeated in her mixed martial arts career and her size provides adversity in the division. The Brazillian southpaw looks to keep her belt and undefeated record intact when she steps inside the cage again.

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