Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipovic (Dave Mandel/Sherdog)

Bellator MMA: Stealing All the Headlines

Bellator MMA continues to make waves in the world of mixed martial arts. The company announced another big fight for its huge 200th show, set for April 25 in London.

Newly signed heavyweight Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic will be locked inside the Bellator cage with Roy “Big Country” Nelson in a rematch six years in the making. The first time these two MMA juggernauts faced off at UFC 137, Nelson finished Cro Cop in the third round with punches that led to a TKO. Will the rematch at Bellator 200 have a different ending? Perhaps a better question: is anyone really looking forward to their second contest?

The announcements didn’t stop there, though. For weeks, there have been rumors swirling around Jon Fitch inking a deal with the Viacom-owned promotion. Where there is smoke, there is usually fire. So it didn’t come as much of a surprise when news broke of Fitch’s signing. However, his opponent was a bit of a surprise.


Hard-hitting British knockout artist Paul Daley gets his crack at Fitch when the pair clash at Bellator 199 in San Jose, Calif. Surprisingly, these two guys have never crossed paths before. It will be interesting to see if Daley can deal with the high-level grappling of Fitch. Likewise, we’ll see if Fitch can avoid the one-punch knockout power of Daley.

It seems as if Bellator has an uncanny knack at stealing the MMA headlines away from the UFC. Whether it be by design or by dumb luck, Bellator has nevertheless turned to a successful practice of disseminating its own breaking news.

There’s nothing official as of yet on this front, but all signs indicate that we may get another fight between Tito Ortiz and Chuck Liddell after all — just not in the Octagon. Instead, the legends might follow in the footsteps of a number of other veteran fighters and square off in the Bellator cage. That’s right. We might get to witness the 43-year-old “Huntington Beach Bad Boy” take on the 48-year-old “Iceman” in what should be, um, an interesting encounter.

Here’s another bit of speculation. Juan Archuleta, a multiple-division King of the Cage champion, made his Bellator debut last weekend in an impressive beatdown of late-replacement opponent William Joplin. One of Archuleta’s training partners and cornermen happens to be a Cub Swanson. That’s the same Cub Swanson that doesn’t have a UFC deal right now. I’m not saying Swanson will be the next big headline for Bellator. However, where there is smoke, there is usually fire.