Bellator to move all main events to five rounds in 2022

The Underground
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Credit: Bellator/Lucas Noonan

Bellator finally listened to the complaints of fans and media, and now all future non-title main event bouts will be sanctioned as five-round bout starting in 2022.

Bellator President Scott Coker announced the change from long-time promotional traditions during a guest appearance on the Wednesday episode of The MMA Hour. The new rule will go into effect starting Jan. 1.

MMA News: Bellator to institute five-round non title main events starting in January

“This is something that a lot of fans feel this happened in the last two or three months because of the way the chips fell in some of these fights, but really we’ve been talking about this for the last six to eight months,” Coker said. “We decided that starting January 1st that all the main event fights will be five rounds.”

Since the UFC instituted a similar rule years ago and made main event bouts five-round affairs, fans have wanted to see more MMA promotions follow suit. The issue of three-round headliners not being as fan-friendly occurred again for Bellator in recent months following the top-billed bouts between Phil Davis and Yoel Romero at Bellator 266, and Michael Page versus Douglas Lima 2 at Bellator 267. Both were competitive affairs where more rounds could have offered a clearer picture on which fighters were truly the better men on those nights.

Starting January 1, supporters of the promotion will have to wonder “what if” far less about certain closely contested headlining matchups starting next year.

–Field Level Media

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