Trades don’t typically happen in mixed martial arts.
However, in late 2018, the UFC did acquire Ben Askren from ONE Championship in exchange for former flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson. With the NHL's trade deadline passing at 3 p.m. ET Monday, we wanted to look at five potential trades between the UFC and Bellator that would benefit both promotions.
Pettis, a former UFC lightweight champion, has lost six of his last 10 fights, and his chances of making another run at a UFC title appear slim. Additionally, his brother Sergio signed with Bellator last year, so this move makes a lot of sense.
Chandler emerged as a face of Bellator when he took the lightweight title from Eddie Alvarez at Bellator 58 in 2011. Despite not being the current 155-pound champion, he's still one of the top fighters in the promotion after winning five of his last six matchups. The Hardknocks 365 product would be a welcomed addition for the UFC's lightweight division.
While Pettis would bring a lot of eyeballs to Bellator, his losing streak would also make a straight-up trade for Chandler difficult. That's why the UFC would include Mederios in this deal.
The Hawaiian fighter has lost three straight bouts in the Octagon but is extremely popular due to his fighting style and close relationship with the Diaz brothers. With Bellator hosting annual events in Hawaii, Mederios seems like an ideal fit.
VanZant has just one fight left on her current UFC contract and her husband, Austin Vanderford, already competes in Bellator's middleweight division. The former "Dancing With The Stars" contestant would bring some much-needed name value to Bellator's women's flyweight division if she competes at 125 pounds instead of strawweight.
Budd is a former Bellator women's featherweight champion and would add some talent to the UFC's 145-pound class, which currently has just five fighters competing. The 36-year-old Canadian would be a more compelling matchup for champion Amanda Nunes than anyone else on the UFC women's featherweight roster.
Like the last trade, VanZant alone wouldn't get this deal done, so throwing in a notable veteran like Eye makes sense. The 33-year-old previously competed for Bellator and would present an interesting challenge for current champion Ilima-Lei Macfarlane.
Overeem already has a relationship with Bellator president Scott Coker from his days as the heavyweight champion in Strikeforce. And after his knockout loss to Jairzinho Rozenstruik in December, the chances of Overeem competing for a UFC title again anytime soon appear grim.
Even at 39 years of age, Overeem would have a decent shot at capturing Bellator gold against champion Ryan Bader. In return, the UFC would acquire top heavyweight prospect Mowry.
The undefeated HardKnocks 365 product already has seven fights under his belt and would boost a UFC heavyweight division that has struggled to add prospects.
Former UFC champions Lawler and Dos Anjos have struggled in the Octagon recently. Given that both fighters are in their mid-30s, it doesn't appear that either of them will make it back to contention in the welterweight division.
Page is one of Bellator's top superstars, so trading two former UFC champions for the U.K. standout seems like a fair offer. The 32-year-old's karate style would bring some intrigue to one of the UFC's toughest divisions. Could you imagine Page against Stephen "Wonderboy" Thompson?
After losing Rory MacDonald to PFL earlier this year, having Lawler and Dos Anjos in the mix at 170 pounds would provide some very interesting matchup options for Bellator.
Go big or go home, right? We saved the biggest blockbuster trade for last.
Holloway, a former UFC featherweight champion, is one of the most popular fighters on the roster, so prying him away wouldn't be easy. But with Bellator hosting so many events in Hawaii, going all-out for "Blessed" seems like a risky move worth making.
Despite losing his last fight, Holloway is still in the prime of his career and could compete at either lightweight or featherweight for Bellator. The Hawaiian would immediately become the face of the California-based promotion.
Freire is a two-division champion for Bellator, holding both the 145-pound and 155-pound titles. Given those impressive accomplishments, many are curious to see how he'd fare in the UFC.
While the 32-year-old is extremely talented, a straight-up trade for Holloway wouldn't get this deal done. Instead, Bellator would have to throw in McKee, one of the best prospects in MMA.
The 24-year-old has all the makings of a superstar with his highlight-reel finishes and outspoken personality. The UFC's featherweight division is already deep with talent, and injecting a hot prospect like McKee could really make things interesting.