Donn Davis, chairman of the Saudi-backed PFL, introduced on Monday that his firm has formally acquired Bellator MMA.
The phrases haven’t been disclosed, nonetheless, MMA Preventing reported that PFL inventory was included within the deal, in so Paramount, Bellator’s former rights proprietor, may have a minority possession. A champion vs. champion “mega event” between the two promotions is at present within the works.
The deal gained further momentum in October when Showtime introduced its sports activities division was shuttering on the finish of 2023. That meant each boxing and MMA wanted to seek out new broadcast properties as Paramount sought to dump.
Bellator, which launched in 2008 and was acquired by Viacom in 2011, knew its future hinged on discovering one other franchise with solidified TV rights. Now that the 2 entities have joined forces as one, it turns into the unquestioned No. 2 MMA group behind solely the UFC.
“The idea of all sports activities is the standard of rivals,” Davis advised ESPN. “With this acquisition, this mixed roster is now equal to the UFC when it comes to High 25-ranked expertise. The standard of the product, the depth of the product — this makes the PFL a world powerhouse in a single day. That is simply not doable in on a regular basis sports activities. This was a as soon as in a lifetime alternative.”
On LinkedIn, Davis supplied further particulars in regards to the transaction.
At PFL, Bellator, will labored underneath a “reimagined” system known as the Bellator Worldwide Champions Sequence. It will enable the franchise to function as its personal promotion. There might be eight occasions per 12 months with every card that includes two title fights.
For Bellator fighters underneath contract, they will be accessible to compete within the PFL — together with its the season-long tournaments and the “superfight” sequence on pay-per-view launching in 2024.
Bellator president Scott Coker has not commented on the acquisition, but. Davis reportedly supplied Coker “and his staff at Bellator” positions inside the new construction, based on ESPN.
Final weekend, Bellator hosted its ultimate occasion, previous to its sale, in Chicago. Whereas the announcement of the acquisitions was forward of Friday’s 2023 PFL Championship Finals in Washington, D.C.
The PFL is trying ahead to an enormous 2024. It already airs on ESPN within the U.S., and in January, revealed its new partnership with Jake Paul to broadcast his first MMA combat.
“The mixed PFL and Bellator fighter rosters are second to none in MMA,” PFL CEO Peter Murray stated within the assertion. “We will not wait to carry MMA followers what they’ve been asking for — greatest vs. greatest with the PFL Champions vs. Bellator Champions Mega-Occasion.”