The Professional Fighters League (PFL) just pulled off a massive move by buying Bellator from Paramount Global (NASDAQ:PARA). Talk about a game changer in the mixed-martial arts (MMA) world! This deal isn’t just big news; it’s rocket fuel for PFL, propelling them to the top of the MMA scene alongside UFC.
PFL’s fighter lineup just got a major boost from this Bellator deal. Now, their roster is neck-and-neck with UFC’s, with 30% of their fighters ranked in the top 25 worldwide in their divisions. Plus, they’ve now got the world’s top roster of women fighters. Bellator’s fighters are stepping into the PFL ring, ready to throw down in PFL’s exciting fight franchises.
But Bellator isn’t going anywhere. PFL’s keeping the brand alive with a twist. Enter “Bellator International Champions Series,” set to launch in 2024. Picture this: eight mega events a year, globe-trotting to major cities, featuring two headline-grabbing championship fights each time.
Bellator now joins PFL’s impressive lineup of five live fight franchises. This means a packed calendar for MMA fans, with 30 top-notch events a year. PFL’s not just putting on shows; they’re serving up a feast of MMA action year-round.
Get ready for a showdown in 2024 – PFL Champions vs. Bellator Champions. This is going to be a blockbuster event, pitting the best of the best from both promotions against each other in all seven weight divisions. An epic fight experience is on the horizon.
The nitty-gritty details about Bellator’s future events and partnerships will be shared later, so stay tuned.
The brains behind PFL, Donn Davis and Peter Murray, are steering this expanded MMA empire. Davis, the PFL Chairman and Founder, is all about turning PFL into an MMA juggernaut. Murray, the PFL CEO, is buzzing about the combined fighter rosters and the upcoming PFL vs. Bellator mega-event. These guys mean business.
MMA is a global phenomenon with a fanbase of 650 million. It’s the sport of the decade, with its industry revenue set to climb from $1.75 billion to a whopping $4 billion by 2032.
Bellator’s been in the game for over a decade, hosting a whopping 301 major fights and nurturing dozens of world-class champions. Their roster is stacked, with 46 fighters ranked in the top 25 in their divisions.
PFL stands out with its unique sports-season format. Fighters battle it out through a regular season, playoffs, and championship every year. The combined PFL and Bellator roster is a force to be reckoned with, matching UFC’s 30% top-25 ranked fighters. PFL’s got big plans, like creating the “Champions League of MMA” with international leagues like PFL Europe and PFL MENA. They’re also leading the way with cool tech like their PFL SmartCage, which brings fight analytics, real-time betting, AI scoring, and a next-level viewing experience. Plus, they’re a big hit on ESPN/ESPN+ in the U.S. and broadcast in 150 countries.
Behind the scenes, Citi and LionTree played the financial advisor roles for PFL, and Sidley Austin LLP was the legal wizard.