Current Bellator MMA president, Scott Coker, recently admitted that the promotion was indeed looking to take on a partner or perhaps sell the company outright, possibly to Professional Fighters League (PFL).
But PFL isn’t the only company interested in getting in on the Bellator sweepstakes. According to MMA Fighting’s Ariel Helwani, there are at least two other big time players who could be interested in potentially acquiring the Viacom-owned promotion.
“Since late last year, Bellator has been on the market. That is the term I used. There was some talk that they would just look for an investor, but my understanding is that they are looking to be sold. I have heard of multiple players that have been interested in purchasing them,” said Helwani on The MMA Hour.
“I know PFL was one of those players that looked into them but for various reasons, price tag, whatever, they back out. I ca also tell you that Liberty Media has looked into them and I can also tell you that the Khan family has looked into them. To what degree is unclear. When I am talking about the Khan family I am talking about Shad Khan and his son, Tony Khan who own the Jacksonville Jaquars, Fulham and All Elite Wrestling.”
“But I can also say that as of a couple of weeks ago PFL got back into the mix and have great interest. They have some new investment coming up and some of that will come in the next weeks or months so look out for that. I think there is a big push to create this behemoth No. 2, so we will see if they can get it done.”
If the promotion is sold outright, who ends up the owner will determine just how much of an impact it will have on the mixed martial arts (MMA) scene. That’s because should the Khan family or Liberty Media — who own the Atlanta Braves and Sirius XM — end up purchasing the promotion it will likely continue to run as its own entity with perhaps some tweaks.
Should PFL end up with the highest bid, then things will really get interesting because that means that the promotion will likely absorb Bellator and form a bigger roster under the PFL banner, making way for several fresh and intriguing fights for years to come.
According to Helwani, Viacom is looking to sell Bellator MMA by the end of 2023, so we won’t have to wait long to see what the future holds for all of its fighters and plans, which includes its on-going partnership with RIZIN.
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