For months we’ve heard about a potential sale of Bellator and today we heard an announcement that could certainly expedite the process. In an internal memo, Paramount announced that Showtime Sports would cease operations and shut down at the end of 2023.
Of course, this means that Showtimes coverage of boxing as well as MMA will be no more. Kevin Iole of Yahoo Sports was the first to report the situation. With the news, there was also the announcement of layoffs which included Stephen Espinoza. For MMA fans, you might recognize Espinoza for his work with the Conor McGregor – Floyd Mayweather matchup as well as his public spouts with UFC President Dana White.
Bellator 301 is scheduled for next month, but the promotion doesn’t have any events planned after that card. Ariel Helwani reported that he’s expecting the Bellator sale to be finalized in the next couple of weeks.
The last update we had is that the PFL was in talks to purchase Bellator and they were one of the front runners. However, talks haven’t entered the final stages just yet and it’s a very fluid situation. I think the best result for all parties involved would be PFL acquiring the promotion.
Should PFL end up with Bellator and it’s roster of fighters, it would truly establish a dominant second promotion behind the UFC. Between the talent of the two rosters, they could really give the UFC a run for their money. It’ll be interesting to watch this unfold over the next few weeks, but with today’s announcement, the timeline has definitely moved up.