20 of the best Bellator fighters of all time

With Bellator on the verge of collapse, we take a look at the top 20 Bellator fighters of all time.

Bellator 192: Lima v MacDonald
Bellator 192: Lima v MacDonald / Jayne Kamin-Oncea/GettyImages
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5. Patricio Pitbull

Patricio Pitbull is every bit the fighter as anyone on this list. For a time he was the promotion best pound-for-pound fighter going, and his list of accomplishments is astonishing. He's had four different title reigns in two different weight classes. He's held two titles at the same time, has the most title fights in the promotion's history, the most title fight victories, and is near the top of the list in finishes. If there's a name that's been in the promotion's featherweight or lightweight division worth talking about, Patricio Pitbull has likely beaten him. Pitbull isn't a Bellator legend, he's just an MMA legend.

4. Pat Curran

And while Patricio Pitbull is the featherweight GOAT for Bellator, Pat Curran was the first truly great fighter the promotion may have had. He set the groundwork for what Patricio surpassed. But before he'd push past Curran, Curran would hold the Bellator featherweight title twice, defeating the same Patricio along the way to defend the title. He's also one of the few fighters who can claim to have won a seasonal tournament in two different divisions. With two titles and two tournament wins, victories over Patricio, Daniel Straus, Joe Warren and Roger Huerta, Curran's legacy as a Bellator icon is cemented.

3. Ryan Bader

In 12 fights with Bellator, Ryan Bader has proven to be one of the best to ever grace their cage. He's held the light heavyweight and heavyweight titles, all while never losing at heavyweight. While he lost the light heavyweight title to Vadim Nemkov and then lost to Corey Anderson in the Bellator Light Heavyweight Grand Prix, Bader would end up winning the Bellator Heavyweight Grand Prix and defeated a who's who of names along the way. He's defeated Muhammad Lawal, Matt Mitrione, Valentin Moldavsky, Cheick Kongo, and the great Fedor Emelianenko not once, but twice. The only man to ever beat the great Emelianenko twice. Bader's place as the promotion best heavyweight of all time is beyond secure.

2. Douglas Lima

His recent run of losses aside, few men embodied the Bellator spirit as much as Douglas Lima. Debuting at Bellator 49, Lima has been with the promotion for well over a decade, and has a who's who of victories and title wins. He defeated Douglas Lima, Andrew Koreskov, Michael Page, Rory MacDonald, and Paul Daley, all while winning the Bellator welterweight title three times, and winning three different welterweight tournaments along the way. And if all that wasn't enough, he has arguably the greatest knockout of all time against Page.

1. Michael Chandler

Mr. Bellator himself, Michael Chandler, easily comes in at the top slot and how could he not? He was with the promotion for a decade and in that time he had 23 fights, going 17-5. He has wins over everyone there is, save for Patricio Pitbull. and Will Brooks. He's racked up three lightweight title wins, defeating the likes of Patricky (Patricio's brother), Eddie Alvarez, and Brent Primus along the way. Chandler's trophy case is great on its own, but it's his fighting style that made him truly the man to watch. He was a fast-paced fighter, who helped have some of the best fights ever within the promotion. Not the least of which involved Eddie Alvarez, as the two men clashed twice and may have had the best pair of fights in Bellator history.

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