While it’s been speculated for months now, today the news became official. PFL Chairman Donn Davis officially announced that the promotion has acquired Bellator MMA. Paramount has been shopping Bellator for months and the thought all along was that the PFL would ultimately purchase the promotion.
Davis announced the deal via X and will be going on Ariel Helwani’s MMA Hour later today to talk through the deal. This is a massive deal for the sport of mixed martial arts as the consensus second and third ranked promotions are joining forces to make a run at the UFC.
Davis touted that Bellator and PFL combine for 30% of the world’s top 25 fighters which is equal to the UFC’s portion per Davis. It’s going to be very interesting to see how things unfold, but it’s worth noting that Bellator is not closing it’s doors. The promotion will still run on it’s own in 2024.
Bellator and PFL
So, what exactly is happening with this deal? The PFL is now the parent company that oversees everything. That said, Bellator will still run as it’s own promotion in 2024. However, there’s a caveat with that. Bellator fighters will be allowed to fight in PFL in 2024 if they so choose.
It’s worth noting that there are rule differences between the two promotions. For example, the PFL doesn’t allow opponents to use elbow strikes on the ground. They are not combining rule sets as of now and the promotions will run as they currently have been.
It seems that this deal has an open door feel to it. While the promotions will run on their own in 2024, fighters can move back and forth as they so choose. One thing Davis did tease is the fact that there would be champion versus champion opportunities throughout next year. I’m very interested to hear more during his interview, but this is a huge day for MMA>