Bellator Fighting Championships, later rebranded as Bellator MMA, flung open its doors on April 3, 2009 in Hollywood, Florida. In the nearly eight years that have passed since, the organization has spread its tentacles throughout the United States while planting its flag in five other countries: Ireland, Israel, Canada, Italy and England. Well-publicized leadership and directional changes were part of its development, as the torch passed from founder Bjorn Rebney to former Strikeforce frontman Scott Coker.
Bellator has provided a platform for established stars like Eddie Alvarez, Muhammad Lawal and Phil Davis while also serving as a staging ground for homegrown talents like Michael Chandler, Michael Page, Eduardo Dantas and Joe Warren. The Viacom-owned organization has produced its share of memorable headlining bouts, from the ridiculous to the sublime.
As the spotlight shines on the Tito Ortiz-Chael Sonnen showdown atop Bellator 170 on Saturday at The Forum in Inglewood, California, the latest installment in the Sherdog Top 10 series series focuses on the best Bellator main events to date:
HONORABLE MENTIONS: Patricio Freire vs. Daniel Straus (Bellator 132), Eddie Alvarez vs. Pat Curran (Bellator 39), Pat Curran vs. Luis Palomino (Bellator 46), Ben Askren vs. Jay Hieron (Bellator 56), Toby Imada vs. Jorge Masvidal (Bellator 5), Patricio Freire vs. Pat Curran (Bellator 123), Roger Huerta vs. Chad Hinton (Bellator 13), Patricio Freire vs. Daniel Straus (Bellator 145), Alexis Vila vs. Joe Warren (Bellator 51), Emmanuel Newton vs. Linton Vassell (Bellator 130), Marco Galvao vs. Joe Warren (Bellator 135), Phil Davis vs. Muhammad Lawal (Bellator 154), Muhammad Lawal vs. Quinton Jackson (Bellator 120)
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