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PFL acquires Bellator in blockbuster MMA deal ‘equal to UFC’

“All newly-acquired Bellator fighters will become part of the PFL platform and available to compete in PFL fight franchises.”

After months of speculation, Bellator MMA has officially been acquired by Professional Fighters League (PFL) in a blockbuster deal that could make the combined entity, “equal to UFC” and alter the world of mixed martial arts (MMA) for the foreseeable future.

“Our fighter roster [is] equal to UFC,” said PFL Chairman, Donn Davis. “Both 30 percent Top 25 world-ranked fighters.”

Davis expects the re-imagined Bellator brand to continue as its own entity with cross-promotion championship fights (PFL vs. Bellator) in 2024.

“The combined PFL and Bellator fighter rosters are second to none in MMA,” said Peter Murray, PFL CEO. “We can’t wait to bring MMA fans what they have been asking for — best vs. best with the PFL champions vs. Bellator champions mega-event.”

The news is undoubtedly a sigh of relief for fighters currently signed to the Bellator roster who were unsure what the future held for them. That said, more details regarding when the first event under new ownership will take place will be revealed in the coming weeks.

PFL raised $500 million in its last financing round and was in “investment mode and growing mode,” according to Financial Times.

“The Bellator brand will continue and it becomes the ‘one-off’ event product from PFL,” Davis added on social media. “PFL will launch a reimagined Bellator product in 2024, the ‘Bellator International Champions Series.’ The Bellator International Champions Series will consist of eight major fight events each year hosted in great cities across the globe, and each Bellator event will feature two compelling co-main fights competing for championship belts. PFL platform now has five live fight franchises, with 30 premium events year-round product to serve fans and media partners.”

Those franchises include the PFL League Season, PFL PPV Super Fights, PFL Challenger Series and PFL International Leagues.

For now, there are no more Bellator MMA events scheduled for 2023, with Bellator 301 — which went down last Fri. night (Nov. 17, 2023) — being the last card of the year. Keep it tuned to MMA Mania as more details regarding this mega-deal come to light.

To check out the latest Bellator MMA-related news and notes be sure to hit up our comprehensive news archive right here.

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