The PFL has officially closed a deal to acquire Bellator MMA.
The long rumored sale was made official on Monday with PFL founder Donn Davis announcing the news via Twitter. Multiple people speaking on the condition of anonymity told MMA Fighting that the deal included stock in the PFL which will allow Paramount — the now former owners of Bellator — to maintain a minority ownership in the promotion.
“This totally changes the MMA landscape overnight,” Davis told The Financial Times. “You essentially put two number two companies to create a co-leader. The combined PFL Bellator roster now has 30 percent of its fighters who are ranked top 25 in the world by Fight Matrix. That’s the same as UFC has in their roster.”
As of now, Bellator will continue to operate as its own promotion under a “reimagined” system at PFL called the Bellator International Champions Series. The Bellator series will include eight events per year with each card featuring two title fights at the top.
Bellator fighters currently under contract with the promotion will be available to compete in the PFL, which includes the season-long tournaments as well as the upcoming “superfight” series on pay-per-view that launches in 2024.
As part of his initial announcement, Davis also stated that there will be a “mega event” in 2024 with plans to promote a card pitting PFL champions against Bellator champions.
The PFL acquiring Bellator MMA has been in the work for months as Paramount looked to offload the MMA promotion that first launched back in 2008. The promotion was then acquired by Viacom in 2011 with Bellator promoting cards across multiple networks including CBS and Showtime.
In October, Paramount announced that Showtime would close its sports division, which included both boxing and MMA on the network. That was essentially the final nail in the coffin for Bellator’s future with the company as talks for a sale intensified.
Now that deal is done with PFL purchasing Bellator to create a whole new organization and the clear cut No. 2 rival behind the UFC.
MMANews has you covered ahead of the 2023 PFL Championship.
The 2023 PFL Championship features a slew of high-stakes fights, including six title bouts with $6 million on the line.
12 PFL fighters will compete for the 2023 titles in their respective weight classes in front of a full crowd at The Anthem in Washington D.C. Defending champions such as Olivier Aubin-Mercier and Sadibou Sy will look to add another belt to their résumés.
Former PFL champions such as Kayla Harrison and Ray Cooper III will also mark their SmartCage returns at the event. Former UFC middleweight contender Derek Brunson will also make his league debut after parting ways with the UFC earlier this year.
Coined ‘The Richest Night In MMA’, the 2023 PFL Championship figures to be a must-watch for combat sports fans around the world. From title fights to intriguing stylistic matchups on the undercard, the event features almost everything an MMA fan could want to witness.
Here’s everything you need to know about the six PFL title fights, and full card, in Washington D.C.
You got beat to the punch in another thread dude.
EQUAL TO UFC!!!
You don’t get a $100 bill by rubbing two nickels together.
No, you get a dime holding up a dollar.
But still, bring on the violence, why hate?
I’ve worked at the same place for years and quickly connected with multiple people who ask me about my UFC picks whenever a big show comes up. That’s how I’m able to decipher who’s actually a big deal in MMA or not.
People always know when a Diaz is fighting. Or Conor, or Masvidal, or Izzy, or Jon Jones.
Nobody has ever asked me “Who do you think is gonna win in Bellator this weekend?”. It’s simply not a thing. I would bet my life savings that none of them have ever heard of PFL.
If you want money, fame, opportunities, a true legacy of any kind, you do it in the UFC
If you’re good enough to be middle of the pack in the UFC, you could make a run there and then forego the fame, opportunities, and legacy, and go collect some cute little toy belts and make some cash for a few years in a pretend league.
Seems like such a waste of a career.
All Dana has to do is put Strikeforce back on like a Thursday night Smackdown and pfellator is no more
No hate, just laughing at the hyperbole.
They aren’t what they think they are.
I’d love if they were huge and quality. But they just aren’t. I don’t hate, I just never see it. I’m glad if others are enjoying them.
Combined, their HW roster isn’t bad at all. Hopefully they can do big things with this change.
The combined roster will be awesome. Lots of geeat matchups. The tournament format is also ideal. No favoritism