Bellator MMA is now a part of the PFL family.
Monday, officials from the Professional Fighting League announced a majority acquisition of Bellator, ending months of speculation.
The exact finances behind the news have not been revealed, however, Paramount Global will retain a minority stake in the promotion, according to PFL founder and CEO Donn Davis.
PFL vs Bellator?
Davis also shared plans to keep Bellator running as a separate entity, retaining its ruleset allowing elbow strikes, with a “mega event” pitting each company’s champions against one another targeted in the first quarter of 2024.
After the super fight card, eight Bellator events tentatively rebranded as the “Bellator International Champions Series,” would run alongside PFL’s next season. Each Bellator International Champions Series card will feature a pair of “compelling co-main fights competing for championship belts.”
Davis told ESPN’s Brett Okamoto that Bellator’s entire team, including company president Scott Coker, will have the opportunity to continue working under the new ownership group.
Shortly before the announcement, Davis tweeted the arrival of a “new MMA global powerhouse” that would be “better for fans. Better for fighters. Better for commercial partners.”
PFL’s Larger Plans
Earlier this year, rumors began circulating that Paramount Global was looking to sell Bellator, which it purchased in Dec. of 2011. After announcing a $100 million investment from the Saudi Arabia Public Investment Fund in August, PFL emerged as a front-runner.
Bellator 301, which took place Friday evening, was the final event aired on Showtime following Paramount Global’s announcement that it would cease producing combat sports events by the end of the year.