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Bellator Europe vs Cage Warriors back and forth continue on social media

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The promotions are the two most prominent across the UK when it comes to putting on live shows in the region.

Cage Warriors prospect, Ian Garry
Dolly Clew/Cage Warriors

Anyone involved in the European MMA scene is aware of the undercurrent between a pair of the most important promotions in the market over the past year. Whether its been through snide remarks on Twitter or passive-aggressive comments in press releases, it is clear that relations aren’t the best between Bellator and Cage Warriors. Both are looking to be the dominant force when it comes to developing top-level talent and putting on live shows in the UK and most recently, Ireland.

Earlier this week, Cage Warriors held a media day in Dublin ahead of their return to Ireland on Saturday 9th November. The company’s president, Graham Boylan, spoke to Sean Sheehan for Severe MMA and explained how he believes Bellator aren’t competition for Cage Warriors. Boylan is of the opinion that the fighters who want to make money and aren’t particularly worried about picking up losses or getting developed go to Bellator whereas those who want to get to the UFC and believe they can be the best in the world take that path with Cage Warriors. Head of Bellator Europe, David Green, has also previously mentioned that he doesn’t see Cage Warriors as competition in terms of building the market across Europe and bringing big fights to full arenas available on TV platforms.

One of the biggest prospects currently signed to Cage Warriors is Irishman, Ian ‘The Future’ Garry (2-0), who trains out of Team KF. He also spoke to Severe MMA at the same media day before he competes at the promotion’s show in November. Garry mentioned that if fighters want to fight for Bellator, they will have a short career because those athletes don’t want to be one of the best fighters in the world — they just want to be paid.

He went on to discuss that if fighters get 20k to fight in Bellator as opposed to 5k to fight in Cage Warriors it’s easy which is the offer many would want to take, but he questions how many fights that 20k will last for. Garry mentioned whether or not those Bellator fighters could then move up in wage compared to UFC fighters who work up through the pay scale depending on performances. The promising prospect said he would take the UFC route over the Bellator one because of that as well as other reasons which is why he has chosen to develop his career in Cage Warriors.

These interviews generated lots of discussion online and even saw Bellator official, Mike Kogan, have his say on the situation.

The Twitter account belonging to Bellator Europe star and former Geordie Shore TV personality Aaron Chalmers — which is not run by Chalmers himself — then sent out tweets and exchanged comments with Ian Garry.

The official Bellator Twitter account and one of the biggest stars in Cage Warriors, Paddy Pimblett, also got involved.

The rivalry between the promotions shows no sign of letting up and is definitely something worth monitoring as both companies look to expand their European schedule even further next year. Both promotions are home to extremely talented fighters in the region and the different options that athletes have is only beneficial for their careers long-term.