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3 Reasons why Bellator 214 was as good as UFC 229

Jake Hager won in his MMA debut
Jake Hager won in his MMA debut
Paul Benson
ANALYST
Modified 29 Jan 2019
Top 5 / Top 10
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Bellator 214 is in the books and was a very memorable show and a brilliant way to start the year for America's number two MMA promotion.

There was so much to digest on the show and it definitely evoked memories of the heavily hyped UFC 229 event that took place back in October 2018.

That event was main evented by a returning Conor McGregor versus the undefeated Lightweight Champion, Khabib Nurmagomedov. That was a headliner which appealed to a massive fanbase as 2.4 million people parted with their hard earned cash to order the show.

Although most people wanted McGregor to win, it was the conquering Khabib who retained the belt in devastating fashion, leaving the fairytale comeback in tatters for "Notorious."

Underneath, UFC 229 had appealing undercard bouts such as Derrick Lewis versus Alexander Volkov and Lightweight title contenders, Tony Ferguson versus Anthony Pettis in the co-headliner.

Bellator 214 came close to matching those with a stacked undercard in its own right, which consisted of former WWE World Heavyweight Champion, Jack Swagger, competing under his real name, Jake Hager competing in his first ever MMA bout.

Hot prospect, Aaron Pico was also in action versus Henry Corrales as he looked to climb the ranks and deliver on the early promise he has shown in his MMA career to date.

The main event was mouth watering in its own way as it featured the legendary, Fedor Emelianenko, possibly competing in the final bout of his two-decade career for the vacant Heavyweight title versus the reigning Light-Heavyweight Champion, Ryan Bader.

Like UFC 229, Bellator 214 was a huge show, with great implications for the company's future in its featured bouts.

This slideshow will pick out three reasons why Bellator 214 deserves to be compared favorably to UFC 229.

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#3 Both shows booked a crossover star in a featured spot

Jake Hager embodies his WWE persona:
Jake Hager embodies his WWE persona: "We The People"

It goes without saying that Jake Hager, the former Jack Swagger in WWE is not a star anywhere near the level of Conor McGregor.

However, he has crossover appeal from his WWE tenure that spanned from 2008 to 2017 on the main roster. During his time in the promotion, Swagger won the ECW World Title, won the Money in the Bank contract at Wrestlemania XXVI and successfully cashed in on Chris Jericho to become World Heavyweight Champion. He also had a reign as United States Champion.

It was not always successful for sure, which is the focal reason why he left WWE in the first place but he still has name value from his tenure in the sports entertainment powerhouse and has used that to great effect in his MMA debut at Bellator 214. His wrestling catchphrase "We The People" was over with the Bellator audience and with his world-class amateur wrestling background, should make this a very successful transition and a new career for him.

UFC 229 obviously had mainstream superstar, McGregor in the main event, returning to the promotion after his one-off Boxing match with Floyd Mayweather that was the second highest pay per view buy rate event, pulling an astonishing 4.3 million buys.

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Published 29 Jan 2019, 14:35 IST
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