With competition rising in promotions all over the world, MMA is in a never before seen era where cross promotion dream matchups are at an all-time high.
As ONE and Rizin are picking up steam, the two big promotions still remain at the top in the United States- Bellator and the UFC. It is now clear that the UFC does not have all of the best fighters in the world. In fact, many Bellator fighters could compete for a UFC title or even become a UFC champion. For example, the recent signing of Ben Askren will finally answer questions as to how a product of outside organizations will fair with UFC-level competition.
Check out our list of elite Bellator fighters that should fight under the largest MMA promotion’s banner:
The top 10 Bellator fighters that could be in the UFC
#10: Aaron Pico (4-1)
#9: AJ McKee (13-0)
#8: Douglas Lima (30-7)
#7: Darrion Caldwell (13-2)
#6: Julia Budd (12-2)
#5: Patricio “Pitbull” Freire (28-4)
At 5’5", Patricio Pitbull would certainly be one of the smaller fighters in the division. However, as a product of the famed Chute Boxe Academy, he would surely be one of the most entertaining and violent fighters to be inserted into the shallow division. Pitbull has 20 stoppage victories and a wealth of experience with high quality wins over Daniel Strauss (x3), Wilson Reis (x2), Georgi Karakhanyan, Daniel Weichel (x2), Pat Curran and Emmanuel Sanchez. Pitbull is usually known for his violent knockout power but many people sleep, literally, on his jiu jitsu as he is a BJJ Black Belt under the Nogueira brothers, and 11 of his 20 stoppage victories have come by way of submission. He has a few quality fights left for him in Bellator, like Aaron Pico and AJ McKee. However, adding him to the UFC featherweight division would make for exciting matchups.