Josh Koscheck. Josh Thomson. Tito Ortiz. Stephan Bonnar. The list of recognizable names who’ve fled the hallowed halls of the UFC to fight in Bellator is long and seemingly growing every day. But don’t be fooled: when it comes down to the value of the promotions’ particular belts, the UFC’s championship title still rules.
Today the UFC announced the signing of Tamdan McCrory. That name may sound familiar to you, and if it does, it’s probably because you remember him fighting in the UFC from 2007 to 2009. In six fights he went 3-3, beating Pete Spratt, Luke Cummo and Ryan Madigan, and losing to Akihiro Ghono, Dustin Hazelett and John Howard. Then he got cut, and for five years he went off the combative sports grid, resurfacing in Bellator last September to knock out one of the promotion’s top middleweights. He followed that up with a win by armbar in February. (McCrory, a.k.a. “The Barncat”, can be a badass when he wants to, you see.)
Anyway, he has jumped ship from Bellator and is back in the UFC. Why?
“I left a title shot in [my last promotion] to come to the UFC,” McCrory said. “If I wanted to win that belt I could have stayed and done it, but I wanted to be back in the sport of MMA, not the MMA entertainment business.”
I guess it’s safe to say that despite all the recognizable fighters exiting the UFC to join Bellator, there’s a truth that remains immutable: UFC belts are worth more. Always.