UFC or Bellator: Who is Superior at Pushing Brazilian Fighters?

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UFC MMA Demian Maia Brazilian

Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports

Are Brazilians really not being pushed by the UFC since the WME-IMG buy out? Has Bellator been doing a better job since? Cage Pages analyzes the data to find out.

Times are changing. MMA is healthy globally and the UFC’s once rock solid stranglehold on the MMA market is looking slightly precarious, with the company arguably in its most financially fragile state since 2001.

Bellator has made big plays for UFC fighters, on occasion being successful. With Bellator’s position seemingly improving daily is it about time fighters started looking to be a Bellator fighter first and foremost? In particular Brazilian fighters. Are Brazilian fighters afforded better chances under WME-IMG’s UFC, or does Bellator push their Brazilian contingent better?

Cage Pages has collected relevant data on both promotions with hopes of giving our readers a clearer picture.

Data acquired on Brazilian UFC fighters

(data includes all scheduled fights since WME-IMG buyout on 6-11-16)

  • Total cards for the UFC since the WME-IMG buyout: 43
  • TV cards headlined by Brazilian UFC fighters: 12
  • TV cards co-headlined by Brazilian UFC fighters: 6
  • PPV cards headlined by Brazilian UFC fighters: 4
  • PPV cards co-headlined by Brazilian UFC fighters: 7
  • Total cards headlined by Brazilian UFC fighters: 16
  • Total cards co-headlined by Brazilian UFC fighters: 12
  • Percentage of total cards headlined by Brazilian UFC fighters: 37.2
  • Percentage of total cards co-headlined by Brazilian UFC fighters: 30.2
  • Total number of title fights for Brazilians: 8
  • Total number of fighters on UFC roster: 508
  • Total number of Brazilians on UFC roster: 82
  • Percentage of Brazilians on total UFC roster: 16.1
  • Average number of Brazilians ranked in each division: 2.8
  • Percentage of Brazilians ranked in each division: 17.5
  • Total percentage of Brazilians ranked on UFC roster: 34.1%
  • Average age of ranked Brazilian UFC fighters: 33.3

As a blanket statement, it appears accusations of the UFC not pushing Brazilians is questionable given the data, although we must note that there are specific cases which should be looked at individually. Is that endemic of something larger? While the data would suggest otherwise, we take a look at some highlighted cases and offer our opinion.

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