Bellator gets some serious props from Ariel Helwani: “There is no other promotion, outside of the UFC, that has a collection of champions like that”

By Zain Bando - June 22, 2023

Ariel Helwani shares his thoughts about Bellator’s roster

Long-time MMA journalist Ariel Helwani always gives credit where credit is due, especially when it comes to the sport as a whole. Last Friday showcased Bellator 297, which featured two world title fights.

Ariel Helwani, UFC

Bellator light heavyweight champion, Vadim Nemkov, took on Yoel Romero in the main event, while Sergio Pettis fought Patricio Pitbull for the bantamweight strep in the co-main.

The results sparked debate as to whether or not Bellator has arrived as the legitimate No. 2 promotion.

No matter what the answer is, it’s becoming more and more apparent the MMA masses are taking notice of Bellator.

Ariel Helwani, who has been in the MMA industry for over a decade, certainly thinks so.

“Bellator’s roster of champions is the best it’s ever been,” Helwani said. “There is no other promotion, outside of the UFC, that has a collection of champions like that.”

Regardless of how one views Bellator’s roster, there’s no denying its champions have continuously competed against the best the sport has to offer on a monthly basis.

Homegrown talent model is slowly working

Nemkov, for example, now sits at 9-0 in the promotion and has beaten back-to-back UFC veterans.

Meanwhile, Johnny Eblen, Bellator’s middleweight champion, beat Gegard Mousasi, who has triple the experience, to win the belt.

It may not have the same marketing value the Ultimate Fighting Championship, but it can produce world champions left and right.

Bellator will now look ahead to the other major title fights later this year.

Pettis vs. Patchy Mix, a potential Nemkov-Anderson trilogy bout and another return to Tokyo, Japan, next month are a select few that that fit that description.

Nonetheless, it’s apparent the roster production and homegrown talent model is working as advertised.

With the rumblings of a Bellator sale on the horizon, one can hope the momentum will only continue from here on out as the year progresses.

How do Bellator fighters stack up against the UFC’s? Do you agree with the comments made by Ariel Helwani? Let us know, Penn Nation!


Ariel Helwani Bellator