John Salter (born March 21, 1985) is an American mixed martial artist currently competing in the Middleweight division of Bellator. A professional competitor since 2007, he has also competed for the UFC and Strikeforce, King of the Cage, and the AFC. As of March 15, 2022, he is #3 in the Bellator Middleweight Rankings.[3]

John Salter
Born (1985-03-21) March 21, 1985 (age 37)
Gardendale, Alabama, United States
Height6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)
Weight185 lb (84 kg; 13 st 3 lb)
Reach74 in (188 cm)
Fighting out ofWilmington, North Carolina, United States
Nashville, Tennessee, United States
Birmingham, Alabama, United States
Dethrone Base Camp (2012–2016)
SaltyDog Jiu Jitsu (2016–present)[1]
RankSecond degree black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu under Shawn Hammonds[2]
Years active2007–present
Mixed martial arts record
By knockout7
By submission10
By decision1
By knockout2
By submission3
By decision1
Mixed martial arts record from Sherdog
Medal record


John Salter began training in wrestling at age 12, going on to win a 2002 state title while in high school. He went on to attend Lindenwood University in St. Louis, Missouri, where he won the 2007 NAIA National Wrestling Championship at 174 lbs. Following college, Salter won various national grappling tournaments, including the 2007 NAGA Nationals (No-Gi, middleweight) Expert Division, as well as the 2007 Casca Grossa (No-Gi, 175 lb and up) Professional Division. In addition, Salter began training kickboxing and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.

Mixed martial arts careerEdit

Early careerEdit

Salter made his amateur MMA debut in 2007 and compiled an undefeated record of 7–0. He made his professional debut in March 2009 at middleweight and has maintained a record of 17–4.

Ultimate Fighting ChampionshipEdit

On January 11, 2010, Salter made his UFC debut, stepping in as a last-minute replacement for Mike Massenzio against Gerald Harris at UFC Fight Night 20. Salter lost the fight due to TKO (strikes) in the third round.

Salter was scheduled to face Nick Catone on May 8, 2010 at UFC 113,[4] but Catone was forced off the card with an injury and instead faced UFC veteran, Jason MacDonald.[5] After 2:42 of the first round, MacDonald suffered a suspected broken ankle and Salter was declared the winner by TKO (injury).

Salter was expected to face Phil Baroni on August 28, 2010 at UFC 118,[6] however Baroni was forced off the card with an injury.[7] Late replacement Dan Miller defeated Salter via guillotine choke in the 2nd round.

Salter was released from the UFC with a 1–2 record.


Salter was expected to make his Strikeforce debut against undefeated Yancy Medeiros at Strikeforce Challengers: Woodley vs. Saffiedine on January 7, 2011, but Medeiros was forced from the bout with an injury.[8] As a result, Salter was pulled from the card, but later re-added, fighting Casey Huffman who he defeated via TKO due to strikes in the 1st round.[9]


Salter defeated former UFC fighter Kalib Starnes in the main event of AFC 6: Conviction for Armageddon FC in Victoria, BC, Canada, on June 18. This fight was for the AFC middleweight title belt.

Bellator MMAEdit

In his Bellator MMA debut, Salter faced Dustin Jacoby on January 16, 2015 at Bellator 132.[10] He won the fight via submission in the second round. On June 17, 2016 John faced the former Middle Weight title holder Brandon Halsey on the main card for Bellator 156. Salter won via submission by triangle choke.

Salter faced Kendall Grove at Bellator 181 on July 14, 2017. He won the fight via technical submission in the first round.[11]

Salter was expected to face Anatoly Tokov at Bellator 188 on November 16, 2017.[12] However, Tokov pulled out of the bout due to an ACL injury and was replaced by Jason Radcliffe. Salter won the fight via submission in the first round.

Salter was expected to face Rafael Lovato Jr. at Bellator 198 on April 28, 2018. However, Salter was pulled by the Illinois Athletic Commission due to an eye issue on April 24 and replaced by Gerald Harris.[13]

Salter faced Rafael Lovato Jr. on September 21, 2018 at Bellator 205.[14] He lost the fight via a submission.[15]

Salter stepped in to replace Melvin Manhoef against Chidi Njokuani on November 30, 2018 at Bellator 210.[16] He won the fight via submission in the first round.[17]

Salter faced Costello van Steenis on November 8, 2019 at Bellator 233. Salter outlasted van Steenis and won the bout unanimous decision, becoming the first time that Salter went to the judges.[18]

Salter faced Andrew Kapel on August 21, 2020 at Bellator 244. Salter won the bout via arm-triangle choke in the third round.[19]

Salter faced Gegard Mousasi for the Bellator Middleweight Championship on August 13, 2021 at Bellator 264.[20] After having success with his takedowns in the first two rounds, Salter ultimately lost the bout via TKO in round three.[21]

Salter faced Johnny Eblen on March 12, 2022 at Bellator 276.[22] He lost the bout via unanimous decision.[23]

Championships and accomplishmentsEdit

Brazilian Ju-jitsuEdit

  • 2017 ADCC West Coast Trials Winner

Mixed martial artsEdit


  • 2017 ADCC West Coast Trials Winner
  • 2007 NAIA National Champion Wrestler for Lindenwood University, MO
  • 2007 All American Wrestler for Lindenwood University, MO
  • NAGA (North American Grappling Association) National Champion
    • Casca-Grossa Champion in professional division
  • UEP Professional Middle Weight Title Holder - 2009
  • 2002 State Champion Wrestler for Gardendale High School, Alabama

Mixed martial arts recordEdit

Professional record breakdown
24 matches 18 wins 6 losses
By knockout 7 2
By submission 10 3
By decision 1 1
Res. Record Opponent Method Event Date Round Time Location Notes
Loss 18–6 Johnny Eblen Decision (unanimous) Bellator 276 March 12, 2022 3 5:00 St. Louis, Missouri, United States
Loss 18–5 Gegard Mousasi TKO (punches) Bellator 264 August 13, 2021 3 2:07 Uncasville, Connecticut, United States For the Bellator Middleweight World Championship.
Win 18–4 Andrew Kapel Submission (arm-triangle choke) Bellator 244 August 21, 2020 3 3:11 Uncasville, Connecticut, United States
Win 17–4 Costello van Steenis Decision (unanimous) Bellator 233 November 8, 2019 3 5:00 Thackerville, Oklahoma, United States
Win 16–4 Chidi Njokuani Submission (rear-naked choke) Bellator 210 November 30, 2018 1 4:32 Thackerville, Oklahoma, United States
Loss 15–4 Rafael Lovato Jr. Submission (rear-naked choke) Bellator 205 September 21, 2018 3 4:27 Boise, Idaho, United States
Win 15–3 Jason Radcliffe Submission (rear-naked choke) Bellator 188 November 16, 2017 1 1:55 Tel Aviv, Israel
Win 14–3 Kendall Grove Technical Submission (rear-naked choke) Bellator 181 July 14, 2017 1 4:37 Thackerville, Oklahoma, United States
Win 13–3 Claudio Annicchiarico TKO (punches) Bellator 168 December 10, 2016 1 1:40 Florence, Italy
Win 12–3 Brandon Halsey Submission (triangle choke) Bellator 156 June 17, 2016 1 4:03 Fresno, California, United States
Win 11–3 Dustin Jacoby Submission (rear-naked choke) Bellator 132 January 16, 2015 2 3:33 Temecula, California, United States
Win 10–3 Jaime Jara Submission (triangle choke) TWC 18: Halloween Havoc 3 October 25, 2013 1 2:20 Porterville, California, United States
Win 9–3 Fred Weaver TKO (punches) Strikehard 23 April 27, 2013 1 2:58 Tuscaloosa, Alabama, United States
Loss 8–3 Reggie Peña Submission (guillotine choke) XFC 18: Music City Mayhem June 22, 2012 2 0:36 Nashville, Tennessee, United States
Win 8–2 Ryan Machan Submission (rear-naked choke) PFC 8 December 9, 2011 1 2:47 Red Deer, Alberta, Canada
Win 7–2 Kalib Starnes KO (punches) AFC 6: Conviction June 18, 2011 2 4:13 Victoria, British Columbia, Canada Won AFC Middleweight Championship.
Win 6–2 Casey Huffman TKO (punches) Strikeforce Challengers: Woodley vs. Saffiedine January 7, 2011 1 2:59 Nashville, Tennessee, United States
Loss 5–2 Dan Miller Submission (ninja choke) UFC 118 August 28, 2010 2 1:53 Boston, Massachusetts, United States
Win 5–1 Jason MacDonald TKO (leg injury) UFC 113 May 8, 2010 1 2:42 Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Loss 4–1 Gerald Harris TKO (punches) UFC Fight Night: Maynard vs. Diaz January 11, 2010 3 3:24 Fairfax, Virginia, United States
Win 4–0 Jeremiah Riggs TKO (punches) CCCW: The 3rd Degree October 17, 2009 1 4:44 Springfield, Illinois, United States
Win 3–0 James Hammortree Submission (arm-triangle choke) Ultimate Event Promotions: Vendetta July 27, 2009 3 1:58 Daphne, Alabama, United States
Win 2–0 Roberto Traven KO (punches) Adrenaline MMA 3: Bragging Rights June 11, 2009 1 2:15 Birmingham, Alabama, United States
Win 1–0 Patrick Mandio Submission (armbar) KOTC: Invincible March 27, 2009 1 4:35 Atlanta, Georgia, United States


See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "John Salter".
  2. ^ "Black Belt promotion held in MTSU". February 25, 2020.
  3. ^ "Bellator Rankings". Retrieved 2021-06-16.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  4. ^ Dann Stupp. "Nick Catone vs. John Salter on tap for UFC 113 prelims in Montreal". MMAjunkie. Archived from the original on 2010-03-23.
  5. ^ Steven Marrocco. "Source: Jason MacDonald will face John Salter at UFC 113 in May". MMAjunkie. Archived from the original on 2010-04-30.
  6. ^ "Pearson-Miller at UFN 22; Baroni-Salter at UFC 118". 2010-05-29.
  7. ^ "Phil Baroni off UFC 118 card due to collarbone injury". July 27, 2010.
  8. ^ Dann Stupp. "St. Preux-Humphrey replaces Medeiros-Salter at Strikeforce Challengers 13". MMAjunkie.
  9. ^ Dann Stupp. "Massive 13-fight preliminary card set for Strikeforce Challengers 13". MMAjunkie. Archived from the original on 2011-01-06.
  10. ^ MMAjunkie Staff (January 8, 2015). "Bellator 132 complete with seven prelims, including Dustin Jacoby vs. John Salter".
  11. ^ John Morgan (July 14, 2017). "Bellator 181 results: Derek Campos scores trilogy win over Brandon Girtz in blood-soaked instant classic".
  12. ^ Steven Marrocco (August 23, 2017). "Bellator 188 features title rematch between champ Patricio Freire, Daniel Weichel".
  13. ^ Steve Juon (April 25, 2018). "Bellator 198 fight card shakeup: Gerald Harris vs Rafael Lovato Jr. booked with John Salter scratched".
  14. ^ "John Salter ready for both he and Rafael Lovato Jr. to be 'carried out of the cage' at Bellator 205". MMAjunkie. 2018-09-18. Retrieved 2018-09-22.
  15. ^ "Bellator 205 results: Rafael Lovato Jr. stays perfect, taps out gritty John Salter". MMAjunkie. 2018-09-22. Retrieved 2018-09-22.
  16. ^ "Melvin Manhoef Out, John Salter in Against Chidi Njokuani at Bellator 210". Sherdog. Retrieved 2018-11-02.
  17. ^ Meshew, Jed (2018-11-30). "Bellator 210 Results: John Salter makes quick work of Chidi Njokuani with first-round submission". MMA Fighting. Retrieved 2021-06-26.
  18. ^ "Bellator 233 results: John Salter earns unanimous nod over Costello van Steenis". MMA Junkie. 2019-11-09. Retrieved 2021-06-26.
  19. ^ "Bellator 233 results: John Salter earns unanimous nod over Costello van Steenis". MMA Junkie. 2019-11-09. Retrieved 2021-06-26.
  20. ^ "Gegard Mousasi to defend title vs. John Salter at Bellator 264 in Connecticut". MMA Junkie. 2021-06-25. Retrieved 2021-06-25.
  21. ^ Anderson, Jay (2021-08-13). "Bellator 264 Results: Gegard Mousasi Finishes John Salter, Austin Vanderford Up Next". Cageside Press. Retrieved 2021-08-14.
  22. ^ Heck, Mike (2022-02-15). "Cat Zingano vs. Pam Sorenson, John Salter vs. Johnny Eblen among additions to Bellator 276 lineup". MMA Fighting. Retrieved 2022-02-15.
  23. ^ "Bellator 276 'Borics vs. Burnell' Play-by-Play, Results & Round Scoring". Sherdog. Retrieved 2022-03-13.
  24. ^ Mike Bohn (November 5, 2019). "Bellator 233 pre-event facts: 'King Mo' Lawal drops weight for retirement fight".
  25. ^ "John Salter MMA Stats, Pictures, News, Videos, Biography -". Sherdog. Retrieved 2018-11-02.

External linksEdit