After months of speculation the PFL organization has acquired Bellator in a deal for an undisclosed sum and has unveiled plans to keep it running as a separate promotion.
“This totally changes the MMA landscape overnight,” PFL founder Donn Davis told The Financial Times. “You essentially put two number two companies to create a co-leader. The combined PFL Bellator roster now has 30 percent of its fighters who are ranked top 25 in the world by Fight Matrix. That’s the same as UFC has in their roster.”
Bellator will now run eight events per year under the banner of ‘Bellator International Champions Series’, with each show featuring two title fights.
In addition, Bellator fighters will now also be eligible to compete in the PFL’s tournament next year and ‘Superfight’ series on pay-per-view which is set to launch in 2024.
Meanwhile, plans are underway to host a ‘mega event’ that will see both PFL and Bellator’s champions going head-to-head.
The biggest names currently on the PFL include the likes of Francis Ngannou and Jake Paul (both of whom are yet to compete in the promotion), along with female standouts like Kayla Harrison and Claressa Shields.
Meanwhile, Bellator’s stars include the likes of Ryan Bader, Vadim Nemkov, Patricio Pitbull, Cris Cyborg and Usman Nurmagomedov (though the latter has just been suspended for 6 months after failing a drug test).