In recent months, speculation has been rife about the possibility of PFL acquiring Bellator. This is a move that could have far-reaching implications for the world of mixed martial arts.
Bellator CEO and President Scott Coker has now confirmed that the promotion is indeed seeking a buye. He also confirmed that the PFL being one of the interested parties.
During a media briefing following the Bellator 297 ceremonial face-off, Coker revealed: “We’ve been out there and Bellator has been looking to take a partner. That’s really Viacom that’s been handling that so we’ll see where that nets out. We’ll probably have some clarity in the next 60 to 90 days.”
Regarding the rumors surrounding the PFL’s involvement, Coker added: “They’re definitely in the conversation. There’s a couple conversations going on right now with Viacom and a couple companies and the PFL is definitely one of them.”
Coker emphasized that he does not wish to speculate on whether the two promotions would merge and work as one if a deal is reached. But if such a merger were to take place, it would undoubtedly have a profound impact on the landscape of mixed martial arts.
While rumors of Bellator being up for sale have circulated for some time, Coker’s comments represent the first official confirmation from someone within the organization.
Francis Ngannou’s decision to join the PFL has been hailed as one of the most significant free-agent signings in the history of mixed martial arts. The former UFC heavyweight champion has been negotiating a two-bout deal that encompasses both boxing and MMA with former WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder.
During an interview with The Schmo, Ngannou revealed that he was unaware of Wilder’s presence at PFL 4. He stated: “We were having conversations earlier this year before they came with the potential fight in December so that’s why we’re going to hold that [off] in order [for him] to finish his business in December, but we were serious about a two-fight deal.”
Ngannou went on to say: “He might have some business in December and that’s the reason why we stopped talking, but, after that, we will continue to have that conversation… We’ve had very advanced discussions with Deontay’s team.”
It remains uncertain whether the proposed two-bout deal will come to fruition. Ngannou has expressed his intention to make his boxing debut in 2023 before making his eagerly awaited debut in the PFL in 2024.
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