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

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.

#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.

#2 Both shows had a huge upset in a marquee match

Henry Corrales knocks out hot prospect Aaron Pico
Henry Corrales knocks out hot prospect Aaron Pico

UFC 229 and Bellator 214 featured undercard bouts with title implications. While at UFC 229, Heavyweight contenders, Derrick Lewis and Alexander Volkov battled it out, Bellator 214 saw Aaron Pico clash with Henry Corrales in a bout with Featherweight title implications.

Both these important clashes featured heavy upsets. At UFC 229, it was the "Black Beast" who had lost both of the opening rounds of the contest and was staring a loss in the face to Volkov, who had won his past six fights and every single UFC bout he had contested, who snatched a victory from the jaws of defeat with a last gasp knockout.

With 11 seconds left on the clock, Lewis decked Volkov and earned a Heavyweight title match with Daniel Cormier at UFC 230.

Derrick Lewis upsets Alexander Volkov with seconds remaining
Derrick Lewis upsets Alexander Volkov with seconds remaining

It didn't take anywhere near that long for Corrales to upset rising star, Aaron Pico at Bellator 214. With just over a minute of the fight gone, the 22-year-old big hitter had his four-fight winning streak snapped in devastating fashion.

Pico had looked likely to win in the opening seconds after he himself dropped Corrales, but his opponent roared back with a flurry to KO him and end, at least for now, his title ambitions.

A pair of stunning upsets.

#1 Both shows had a memorable main event for very different reasons

"The Last Emperor" is defeated in the main event of Bellator 214

UFC 229 was headlined by a marquee title match between Lightweight Champion, Khabib Nurmagomedov and returning hero, Conor McGregor.

In comparison, Bellator 214 featured a Heavyweight title bout between former PRIDE Heavyweight Champion; the legendary Fedor Emelianenko fighting Bellator's reigning Light-Heavyweight Champion, Ryan Bader.

Both main events appealed in their own way and both undoubtedly had mainstream appeal. While UFC 229 was built around an invincible champion, Bellator 214 featured what many expected to be a legend's final hurrah.

Both headline bouts were one-sided affairs albeit in very different ways.

Whilst Khabib ground down McGregor over four rounds until he was sapped of energy and was a sitting duck for a submission, Bader exploded on Fedor right out of the gate and defeated the living legend in 30 seconds.

Both memorable and worthy main event attractions in their own way, full of story and emotion.

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