Bellator MMA Glossary

From 'Bout' to 'Wrestling', these are the key terms used in Bellator MMA

Whether you are new to mixed martial arts, or have followed the sport since Bellator MMA first began, you have undoubtedly heard some MMA-specific terminology. Particularly from Mike Goldberg in his play-by-play commentary at LIVE events.

Here's a list to help you train-up and go pro in no time.

Bellator: Latin for "Warrior"

Bout: An alternative name for a fight or contest.

Boxing: A combat sport and form of striking where only the knuckles of the padded glove are used to strike the head and upper torso of an opponent.

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu: A grappling art first developed in Brazil in the early 1900's with a heavy emphasis placed on groundwork and submissions. Cage: The circular custom-made structure where all Bellator bouts take place. Cornerman: Also referred to as a 'corner'. This is a source of support and advice for a fighter during a bout, whether it be a coach, assistant coach or cutman.

Catchweight Bout: When a fight is made at a pre-determined weight outside of the normal weight class parameters. Can also be used to classify a bout in which one competitor or both will not be able to make weight, but that has been determined beforehand to be held at the new weight. A fight in which one of the competitors does not make weight but still takes place is not a catchweight bout.

Decision: Should a bout travel the full scheduled distance, a decision will be rendered by three judges at its conclusion. These scores will be tabulated and the winner of the bout will then be decided.

Disqualification: A loss incurred by one fighter, usually due to a rules infraction.

Featherweight World Grand Prix Tournament: A knock-out tournament involving the top men’s featherweights on the Bellator roster, due to conclude in summer 2021.

Fight Camp: An intense period of sustained training, usually carried out for eight to ten weeks before a scheduled bout. It is during fight camp when trainers and sparring partners help prepare a competitor for an upcoming bout.

Fight Sphere: The frequently-used nickname of the Mohegan Sun Arena, Uncasville, Connecticut – home to Bellator’s behind-closed-doors events in the U.S. during the global pandemic.

Foul: An illegal manoeuvre or conduct administered by a fighter during a bout.

Grappling: A general term that covers the techniques and disciplines used to gain an advantage over an opponent without the use of striking.

Ground and Pound: A tactic originally employed by wrestlers to take an opponent to the ground and begin striking from a grounded position.

Judge: One of three neutral adjudicators selected by an Athletic Commission to score and decide the outcome of a fight which goes the scheduled distance.

Judo: A grappling martial art and sport created in Japan by Kano Jigoro in the late 1800's. Judo is an Olympic sport that allows groundwork and submissions, and is commonly noted for its emphasis on throwing techniques.

Karate: A predominantly striking martial art, first developed in Okinawa/Japan and with many branches and variations.

Kickboxing: The generic term for a sport and style of striking that utilizes hand and foot techniques. Some forms and styles of kickboxing include the use of knees and elbow strikes as well.

Knockout: A strike that leaves an opponent unable to continue and results in a premature conclusion to a bout.

KO: The abbreviation for Knockout.

Kung Fu: A generic term that refers to the entirety of Chinese martial arts.

Light Heavyweight World Grand Prix Tournament: A knock-out tournament involving the top men’s light heavyweights on the Bellator roster, starting in April 2021

Majority Draw: The decision rendered when two of the three judges rule a bout even at its conclusion.

Muay Thai: A kickboxing/striking art and the national sport of Thailand. Muay Thai specialists utilize hand, foot, knee, and elbow strikes from a stand-up position.

No Contest: The outcome of a bout that prematurely ends due to unforeseen circumstances, with no victor rendered at the end. A stalemate.

Referee: An official appointed by the applicable Athletic Commission and someone fully responsible for ensuring the bout rules are adhered to and that the safety of the athletes is paramount.

Round: A five-minute time period within which two fighters compete under mixed martial arts rules. Non-title bouts consist of three rounds and title fights consist of five rounds.

Submission: The act of utilizing a grappling technique to force an opponent to concede defeat via tapout or other means.

Tae Kwon Do: A Korean martial striking art that heavily emphasizes flexibility and kicking.

Takedown: Any way by which an fighter can bring their opponent to the ground with a grappling manoeuvre.

Tapout: The act of a struggling competitor signalling to the referee, usually by quickly tapping three times on the mat or opponent, that they give up and concede defeat.

Technical Knockout: A term used to describe the reason for a bout's conclusion, either because the referee, fighter, or physician determines a combatant is unable to safely continue a bout.

TKO: The abbreviation for Technical Knock Out.

Unified Rules: A set of rules recognized worldwide by athletic commissions as the standard by which professional mixed martial arts are governed.

Weight Divisions: A set of divisions (or ‘classes’) by which mixed martial arts divides competitors up by weight. Bellator’s weight divisions are currently –


  • Featherweight 145lbs
  • Flyweight 125lbs


  • Heavyweight 265lbs
  • Light heavyweight 205lbs
  • Middleweight 185lbs
  • Welterweight 170lbs
  • Lightweight 155lbs
  • Featherweight 145lbs
  • Bantamweight 135lbs

Wrestling: The generic term used for any of a variety or grappling disciplines that don't necessarily incorporate submissions.