UFC’s rival Bellator and PFL reportedly in merger talks

bellator, pfl
Credit: Lucas Noonan/Bellator

The UFC’s two biggest competitors — Bellator and the PFL — are reportedly in talks to possibly merge.

There’s no doubt about the UFC’s place in the world of cage fighting. The Las Vegas-based promotion is the undisputed king of the sport. However, throughout the company’s 30 years in existence, there have always been competitors, and promotions like PRIDE FC and Strikeforce gave Dana White and company a serious run for their money.

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In today’s era of MMA, there are two companies that are competing with the UFC for the fight fan dollar: Bellator and the Professional Fighters League. Bellator has long been a strong No. 2 option in the sport while PFL has slowly but surely made strong gains in the industry using their season-based approach to fight sports.

In 2023, PFL made waves with the signings of fight game disruptor Jake Paul and former UFC heavyweight king Francis Ngannou. Now, their next headline-making move could be a possible purchase and merger with Bellator.

Bellator and PFL talking about a merger in 2023?

bellator, pfl
Credit: Cooper Neill / PFL

Over the last few months, there have been reports that Bellator could be on the sales block, and on Friday at the Bellator 297 weigh-in, promotional boss Scott Coker revealed talks about partnerships are underway and PFL is in the running.

“Bellator has been looking to take a partner. That’s really been Viacom that’s been handling that. So we’ll see where that nets out. We’ll probably have some clarity in the next 60 to 90 days. … [PFL] is definitely in the conversation. There’s a couple of conversations going on right now with Viacom and other companies. PFL is definitely one of them.”

– Scott Coker (h/t MMAJunkie)

It is very interesting for Coker to admit the talks and that PFL is one of the interested parties. It is unclear if PFL could buy and eat up the competition like UFC has done to other promotions in the past or if it would be a true merger with the two companies running simultaneously.

After earning his journalism degree in 2017, Jason Burgos served as a contributor to several sites, including MMA Sucka... More about Jason Burgos

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