There’s plenty of compelling fights coming up this weekend, but with the UFC and Bellator going head-to-head, which one do you watch?
It’s always a tough call when there’s multiple MMA events in a single weekend. There’s only so much time in the day, after all. And so much time you can shun your loved ones and non-MMA fan friends. The problem is compounded when two major events go head-to-head. Such is the case this Saturday, when UFC 224 and Bellator 199 face off.
So which one is worth your time (and in one case, money?).
First, a shout out to ONE Championship, which is putting on its Grit and Glory card from Jakarta, Indonesia this weekend as well. For those willing to really go all in on Saturday, that’s a great starting point. After that, however? Well, Bellator 199 features the final fight of the World Heavyweight Grand Prix’s opening round. UFC 224 features Amanda Nunes putting her bantamweight title on the line.
Bellator, of course, is free on the Paramount Network in the U.S. and Canada. UFC 224 is a PPV in those same nations, so whether you feel like dropping $60 or so dollars is going to be the big question. The UFC is offering up the maybe, probably, most likely retirement fight of Vitor Belfort, who will take on fellow Brazilian Lyoto Machida in Rio. They’ve also included Kelvin Gastelum vs. Jacare Souza, which actually has bearing on the UFC’s middleweight division. Jacare has been circling a title shot for a while now, only to be knocked back down at just the wrong time. Gastelum represents the young, hungry fighter on the verge of hitting the top of the weight class — if he can avoid Ronaldo Souza finishing him off.
On the Bellator side, Jon Fitch makes his promotional debut against Paul Daley. Cheick Kongo returns from a long layoff against Javy Ayala. And Aaron Pico looks to make it three straight wins.
The flood of free fights may sway some, depending on how invested you are in Brazilian legends.
It’s a tough choice, one we break down further in episode two of The Drive In podcast, which you can catch below.