Sityodtong says that merging with other promotions doesn’t fit into ONE’s plans.
For months now, the rumors of Bellator MMA being up for sale have been a big talking point in combat sports.
While the PFL has been heavily linked to acquiring the promotion for some time, there was also seemingly another party that was interested in the purchase at one point in time.
Though the PFL may be now seen as the biggest competitor to the UFC in the United States, ONE Championship is also looking to increase its footprint overseas. The Singapore-based promotion held it’s first event on US soil earlier this year, and thanks to its partnership with Amazon, the expansion is just getting started.
In a recent article by Front Office Reports, featuring an interview with the promotion’s CEO Chatri Sityodtong, it was revealed that ONE was involved in talks about purchasing Bellator but didn’t progress as far as the PFL.
As the promotion looks to continue growing in the US, acquiring Bellator could have been a home run move to massively increase ONE’s footprint outside of Asia.
That being said, it doesn’t appear to be something that was high on the priorities of Sityodtong, who spoke about his organization’s decision not to pursue the deal heavily.
“We believe that organic growth is the right path for ONE Championship,” Sityodtong told Front Office Sports. “Other organizations may feel the need to merge if they’re lacking in one area or another. From ONE Championship’s perspective, we believe in our global brand."
Frequently referencing the promotion’s viewing and social media figures, Sityodtong has always viewed ONE Championship as being on par with the UFC in many aspects.
“The reality is that when you look at combat sports globally, there are two 800-pound gorillas: UFC in the Western Hemisphere and ONE Championship in the Eastern Hemisphere.”
With multiple events in the United States being planned for 2024, ONE will look to build on the sold-out ONE Fight Night 10 card that marked a new era for the promotion with its US debut.
Interesting answer but I think there is more to it than just wanting to grow '‘organically’.
Probably a bunch of hassle and bullshit that they would be tied down to if they made the purchase on Bellator’s terms.
Or maybe they just valued themselves at more than One thought they were worth perhaps.
Smart , I’m not even sure if Bellator is profitable
Translation: We couldn’t afford it or the payroll.