Although the UFC implemented the 5 round rule for all main event fights starting with Dan Henderson versus Mauricio Rua at UFC 139 in November of 2011, the Bellator MMA promotion never had such a rule in place.
However, things may be changing on the Bellator horizon because the promotion’s president in Scott Coker says five round main events may be on the way for non-title bouts.
“That’s something we’ve been really debating internally,” Coker said at the Bellator 185 post-fight press conference. “Because once we do it, we can’t go back. Right now all the main events except for title fights are three rounds.”
Even the World Series Of Fighting/Professional Fighters League has made all main event fights five rounds, whether it is a title fight or not.
Coker would even admit that the Bellator 185 main event may have had a different outcome of it were a five round bout.
“If this was a five-round fight, it could have ended in a different outcome. We’re going to evaluate internally, we’ll talk to our guys and then we’ll talk about it. At some point, we’ll probably do it, but once we do it, we’re not going to be able to come back,” says Coker.
In that Bellator 185 main event, it was Gegard Mousasi earning a controversial decision win over former Bellator MMA Middleweight Champion Alexander Shlemenko.