UFC Fight Night vs Bellator 263

Publish Date
Saturday, 31 July 2021, 10:49AM

ACC UFC resident expert Felix Heath-Collins with everything you need to know ahead of UFC Fight Night & Bellator 263!

This weekend is loaded with MMA action, with most of it flying under the radar so to speak. Not only is there a spicy UFC fight night, but there's the massively-anticipated Bellator 263 card too.

So with both of these loaded MMA events scheduled for Sunday and starting at around the same time, who wins the weekend: the UFC or Bellator MMA?


The UFC fight night this Sunday is headlined by a middleweight bout between Uriah "Prime Time" Hall (18-9) (wins-losses) and Sean "Tarzan" Strickland (23-3).

Uriah Hall is the stereotypical Karate black belt, with respect and skill in equal measure. Hall was responsible for a savage KO against Adam Cella via spinning hook kick on The Ultimate Fighter's Season 17. Despite being an exhibition bout for the show, it was widely regarded as one of the best spin kick KO's back when the show debuted in 2013. Now he's on an impressive four-fight win streak, with his last two fights being stoppages against two former middleweight champions (and all-time greats of MMA) Anderson "The Spider" Silva and Chris "The All-American" Weidman. Shockingly, at the age of 36, Uriah thinks he can beat current middleweight champion Israel "The Last Stylebender" Adesanya.

But in Uriah's way is the streaking middleweight contender Sean "Tarzan" Strickland, who comes charging in with an awkward style and an even awkward-er mouth. In the press conference for this fight, for example, Strickland has called Uriah Hall "kind of a c***" already, and elaborated that Hall would "knock you out and beat his d*** off before bed". So, there's that. Hall responded perfectly to those comments, stating "that's Sean. He says weird sh*t that makes no f*cking sense. What the f*ck are you talking about? What planet are you on? But you know what? That's him. That's his style..."


The Bellator 263 card is headlined by the massively anticipated finals of the featherweight grand prix tournament between the arguable best active lightweight in the world and dual featherweight and lightweight champion in Bellator Patricio "Pitbull" Freire (32-4) from Brazil and the undefeated American prospect AJ "Mercenary" McKee Jr (17-0).

Patricio, the younger and better Pitbull brother, has an insane resume of victories and is currently on a 7-fight win streak that includes a 1 minute and 1 second savage KO of the recent UFC title challenger "Iron" Michael Chandler (who was bested in that UFC title fight by current champion Charles "Do Bronx" Oliveira). In Bellator Patricio Pitbull is the reigning double-champion of both the featherweight and lightweight divisions, typically the deepest and most difficult divisions in modern MMA (along with bantamweight).

AJ McKee Jr. may not have the same names on his resume, but he does have a 17-fight unbeaten streak that includes: rear naked chokes, punch and knee KO/TKO's, a ground-and-pound TKO, a guillotine choke, a head kick KO, an anaconda choke, a triangle armbar, and, most recently, a "modified neck crank from guard". Truly impressive stuff.

The verdict:

Bellator wins. Hell, this Bellator 263 card will probably destroy next week's UFC 265 PPV offering, which is headlined by a forced interim heavyweight belt because the champion wanted a month's time to train (and because the UFC are shills). And the co-main event for that 265 main card, between the two-division UFC champion and Women's GOAT (greatest of all time) Amanda "The Lioness" Nunes and challenger Juliana Pena, has been canned because Nunes and her wife and child all recently tested positive for COVID-19.

While the unusual shit-talking is oddly alluring between the UFC's Hall and Strickland, a grand prix final is something fans of MMA dream about. It's the fancy term in MMA for a tournament fought over multiple events. Ever since the early days of the UFC with the single-night tournament format (in which the champion would have to compete upward of three times in a single event to win the title), all the way to the pioneering nature of the PRIDE grand prix's, all the way to now, with admirable organisations like Bellator still carrying on that grand grand prix/tournament tradition. Plus, they pay their athletes about 50% of their revenue compared to the UFC's paltry 19.5% split, they allow athletes to have sponsorships, and did I mention the grand prix tournaments yet?!

Both of these events' main cards start at 1:00 PM on Sunday for us here in New Zealand. The UFC fight night can be viewed with a fight pass subscription, or through Sky; the Bellator card can be also be viewed on Sky Sports, but there might be a delay from the American broadcast.

Whatever you want to watch, there's plenty to dig into MMA-wise this weekend. Personally, I'll have Sunday fully booked with fights in a futile attempt to avoid spoilers online. Enjoy!




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