Dana White once promised to make UFC as big — or bigger — than NFL.
Not bad for a promotion that was previously considered “lower than porn,” but PFL founder Donn Davis is here to expose those claims as nothing more than promoter hyperbole. In fact, White and Co. are probably sweating bullets after PFL acquired Bellator MMA earlier this week because Davis will produce “better” cards for ESPN.
Both promotions have broadcast deals with “The Worldwide Leader in Sports.”
“Everybody knows Dana well enough that he only dismisses things that worry him or else he just doesn’t comment,” Davis told The MMA Hour. “He didn’t comment on the PFL for four years because he wasn’t worried. He’s commented on the PFL a lot in the last six months. He’s worried. What specifically worried him about Bellator is the metrics we put in the press release. 30 percent of that roster ranked in the Top 25, per Fight Matrix rankings.”
The Fight Matrix website independently ranks fighters across all three promotions.
“This is not, ‘Dana gets to rank his own guys, Donn’s ranking his own guys,’ there’s only one group that ranks all fighters, Fight Matrix, independently,” Davis continued. “30 percent of UFC roster is Top 25 ranked and now our combined company of PFL and Bellator, 30 percent — the same! To UFC’s credit, if you look at Top 5 in the world, they still own the Top 5, one through five.”
“Pay-per-view cards, we couldn’t compete with them right now,” Davis said. “We’re only gonna have two, they have 12. But if you say, ‘I’m turning on the TV on ESPN on Saturday night, or I’m gonna tune in Friday night to watch Bellator International Series or PFL,’ our cards are gonna be better. Because what they put on this year was ranked 70 and what we’re gonna put on next year is ranked 40.”
The outspoken White recently mocked PFL for its “silly” interest in purchasing Bellator.
“That’s why he said, ‘I don’t know why anyone on God’s green earth is buying this,’ because he’s smart and he knows that,” Davis concluded. “UFC ain’t the NFL. We’re not the XFL. But he wants you to think that. And it’s just a matter of time before that starts to get more well known and we're not No. 2, we’re co-leader, and he doesn’t want that. That’s what’s going on.”
White has yet to comment.
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