For months, there’s been talk about Professional Fighter’s League (PFL) buying Bellator from its parent company, Paramount Global (Showtime). More recently, we’ve heard that Showtime Boxing is about to get the axe, too. Then there’s Bellator’s Heavyweight champion claiming Paramount Global pulled him from Bellator 300 to save money.
Lots to keep up with, but UFC CEO, Dana White, claims he still isn’t paying attention.
“Literally not at all,” he said when asked following Tuesday’s Contender Series event (full results here).
“If Bellator continues to exist, it’s not a bad thing,” he added. “It’s a good thing. If you look at all the s— that we take about a lot of things — they’re owned by f—ing Viacom. Do you know how much money these guys have? Why would they be going out of business unless they’re just tired of doing it.
“You’re hearing rumors about Showtime, too,” White added. “Not just Bellator, so ... you know what I think about Showtime as a company. Again, I could go on for days about the production on Saturday [for Canelo vs. Charlo]. They tried to do it better, I noticed. Showtime tried to do it better, but you guys suck.”
It feels like Bellator hasn’t been a priority for Paramount Global for years. Shut away on Showtime as cable withered away, the promotion lost its No. 2 status to PFL (and could arguably be further down the rungs than that) because that lack of care correctly signaled its days were numbered.
In short, the whole thing has felt very “going through the motions” for the past few years.
Bellator has a lot of amazing talent on its roster, but that only gets you so far when your organization is the redheaded stepchild of an indifferent mega-corporation. To them, Bellator is nothing but a line on a spreadsheet that the bean-counters and executives grumble about.
Hopefully, a PFL deal comes through and Bellator fighters can be extracted from the situation. If not, it could be wild witnessing the free agency frenzy as dozens of fighters with world-class resumes flood the market at the same time.
For the latest Bellator MMA news and notes click here.
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