After months of speculation, the PFL and Bellator MMA will become one.
The PFL has acquired Bellator, according to an announcement by its founder and co-owner Donn Davis on Monday.
While financial details of the transaction remain unknown, Davis revealed plans to do a champions vs. champions “mega-event” in 2024. Additionally, Davis told ESPN that a “reimagined” Bellator brand will run concurrent to PFL in 2024, but athletes will be available for both promotions.
“This totally changes the MMA landscape overnight,” Davis told Financial Times. “You essentially put two number two companies to create a co-leader. The combined PFL Bellator roster now has 30 per cent of its fighters who are ranked top 25 in the world by Fight Matrix. That’s the same as UFC has in their roster.”
The announcement comes two days after Bellator 301, which was advertised as the promotion’s last event on Showtime after the network revealed it will halt all combat sports event productions at the end of 2023.
The Scott Coker-led regime took over the helm of Bellator in November 2014 following the firing of longtime headman Bjorn Rebney. Coker had previously founded Strikeforce and departed the promotion following its acquisition by the UFC in 2011.
It is unclear if any of Bellator’s upper management will cross over into PFL or remain a part of the dual-promotion brand going forward.
Our Fighter Roster Equal To UFC – Both 30% Top 25 World Ranked FIghters
PFL Launch Reimagined Bellator – Bellator International Champions Series
Mega-Event For Fans In 2024 – PFL Champs vs. Bellator Champs pic.twitter.com/Ma4YUl4AUi
— Donn Davis (@DonnDavisPFL) November 20, 2023
Rumors of a sale emerged in early 2023, with Bellator president Scott Coker confirming to MMA Junkie in June his promotion was looking for a partner.
PFL officials including Davis, CEO Peter Murray, and president Ray Sefo were quick to confirm the same, though were noncommittal to providing more details.
The ongoing PFL season concludes Friday with the 2023 PFL Championship in Washington.