Cision PR Newswire
Professional Fighters League Acquires Bellator in Industry Transformative Deal
News provided byProfessional Fighters League (PFL)
Nov 20, 2023, 11:30 AM ET
PFL Forms Global Powerhouse Poised to be MMA Co-Leader
PFL + Bellator Combined Fighter Roster Equal to UFC – Both Rosters 30% Top 25 World-Ranked
PFL to Launch Reimagined Bellator in 2024 with Bellator International Champions Series
PFL Champions vs. Bellator Champions in Landmark MMA Mega-Event to be Staged in 2024
NEW YORK, Nov. 20, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- Professional Fighters League (PFL) announced it has completed the acquisition of Bellator from Paramount Global (NASDAQ:PARA), creating a global powerhouse in mixed-martial arts (MMA) and accelerating the combined company to become the industry co-leader.
PFL has acquired an immense number of top fighters through the Bellator acquisition, and its combined fighter roster is now equal in stature to UFC. PFL and UFC both showcase rosters that are 30% comprised of fighters who are top 25 independently world-ranked in their weight-classes. In addition, PFL + Bellator now has the best roster of women's fighters in the world. All newly acquired Bellator fighters will become part of the PFL platform and available to compete in PFL fight franchises.
PFL will continue the Bellator brand, and Bellator will be the "one-off" event product from PFL. PFL will launch a reimagined Bellator product in 2024 – the "Bellator International Champions Series." The Bellator International Champions Series will consist of eight fight events each year hosted in major cities across the globe, and each Bellator event will feature two compelling co-main fights competing for championship belts.
Bellator becomes one of five live fight franchises of the Professional Fighters League: PFL League Season, PFL PPV Super Fights, PFL Challenger Series, PFL International Leagues, and Bellator. Overall, the company can now meet fan and media demand by producing and programming a year-round calendar of live fight content with 30 premium MMA events per year.
PFL as a fighter-first and fan-focused organization plans to stage a landmark mega-event in 2024 – PFL Champions vs. Bellator Champions. The PFL Champions vs. Bellator Champions mega-event will feature the champions of each promotion in all seven weight-classes in a head-to-head epic fight experience.
Details of Bellator events, distribution, partnerships, and management will be announced at a later date.
Donn Davis, PFL Chairman and Founder, and Peter Murray, PFL CEO, continue to lead and operate the combined company.
"PFL is now a global powerhouse in MMA," said Donn Davis, PFL Founder and Chairman. "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."
MMA with 650 million global fans is the third largest fan-base of all sports worldwide. MMA is the sports growth business of this decade with its current $1.75 billion industry revenue projected to grow 10% annually to $4 billion by 2032.
Bellator has served fighters and fans worldwide for more than a decade, staging an astounding 301 major MMA fight events. Bellator has successfully identified and developed dozens of acclaimed MMA world champions. Bellator's current fighter roster has 46 fighters world-ranked in the top 25 of their weight-class per independent source Fight Matrix Rankings.
PFL is the only organization in MMA with the sports-season format, where individual fighters compete in a regular season, playoffs, and championship each year. The combined roster of PFL and Bellator boasts 30% of its fighters independently world-ranked in the top 25 of their respective weight-class, the same percentage as UFC. PFL has an expansive global vision for the sport and is building the "Champions League of MMA" with PFL Europe, PFL MENA, and more international leagues in development. PFL leads in technology and innovation, with its proprietary PFL SmartCage, powering fight analytics, real-time betting, AI scoring, and a next-generation viewing experience. PFL is primetime on ESPN/ESPN+ in the U.S. and is broadcast and streamed in 150 countries with 20 premium media distribution partners.
Citi and LionTree served as financial advisors to PFL and Sidley Austin LLP served as legal counsel to PFL.
ABOUT PROFESSIONAL FIGHTERS LEAGUE
Professional Fighters League (PFL) is a global powerhouse in MMA and the fastest-growing sports league world-wide. PFL has five live fight franchises, offering year-round content: PFL League Season, PFL PPV Super Fights, PFL Challenger Series, PFL International Leagues, and Bellator. Founded in 2018, PFL is backed by major blue-chip investors including SRJ, Ares, Knighthead, Luxor Capital, Waverley Capital, Elysian Park Ventures, and numerous NBA, MLB, NHL, and MLS team owners. MMA is the growth sport business of this decade, with 650 million fans worldwide, the youngest audience demographic, and true global revenue streams.
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SOURCE Professional Fighters League (PFL)
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