PFL officially announces Bellator acquisition, plans revealed for future

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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, named “Bellator International Champions Series,” will run concurrent to PFL in 2024 with eight “one-off” events in 2024.

According to a press release issued, those events will “feature two compelling co-main fights competing for championship belts.”

“PFL is now a global powerhouse in MMA,” Davis said in the press release. “Our Bellator acquisition turbocharges PFL’s mission to innovate the sport and become the industry co-leader.”

“The combined PFL and Bellator fighter rosters are second to none in MMA,” said Peter Murray, PFL CEO. “We can’t wait to bring MMA fans what they have been asking for – best vs best with the PFL Champions vs Bellator Champions Mega-Event.”

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.

Davis told ESPN that Coker, as well as his entire team, will have the opportunity to remain working with the Bellator brand going forward, should they choose to do so. Moreover, Paramount will remain a minor stakeholder in the Bellator brand.

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, CMurray, 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.

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