“It’s number 1!” MMA veteran waves off PFL founder’s warning to Dana White after announcing global powerhouse
Matt Brown is dismissive and unfazed of PFL-Bellator powermove; believes the same for Dana White.
Matt Brown is dismissive of PFL-Bellator merger to overtake UFC (Source: Pinterest/X)
The PFL (Professional Fighters League) took the world by storm this week, with a new acquisition. The combative sports league founded by venture capitalist Donn Davis in 2017, is a close competitor of the UFC. Recently it acquired a major hold over Bellator MMA. Thus fruitfully combining the #2 and #3 biggest combative sports entertainment brands.
The move alone, barring further stated fight cards and promises, would prove to be worrisome enough for fans and peers of the community. But UFC veteran Matt Brown begs to differ.
Once the deal was in place, Davis was quick to trumpet the promotional power that the roster would have. He believes the revamped power would finally outdo the grip UFC has on the MMA spectrum. Correspondingly, this alone should be concern enough for CEO Dana White, who has referred to the PFL in many interviews (as Davis points out). However, in the latest episode of “The Fighter vs. The Writer”, welterweight Brown said:
He’s trying to get Dana to react, I’m guessing...To get more clicks or views or more eyes on it. Dana probably won’t even react. It is completely irrelevant. f I go to Walmart and someone recognizes me, and their brother asks who I am or their sister asks who I am, they’ll say, ‘He’s an Ultimate Fighter.’ They don’t say he’s an MMA fighter. He’s an ‘Ultimate Fighter.’ That’s just what it is. UFC owns the sport. It’s not co-leader. It’s No. 1 and a distant second place. That’s what it is. UFC is synonymous with cage fighting. Period.
UFC has maintained a solidified stronghold over the sport, even after selling to Endeavor in 2016 for more than $4 billion. Many fans and peers, alike, have resounded and resonated with Brown’s sentiments. UFC itself has had a merging of its own. It recently joined forces with WWE, making an even bigger combined promotion. The combat sports hybrid is now valued at a little over $21 Billion US Dollars.
Brown, however, credited Davis for the bold endeavor. The promotion made headlines with the Bellator purchase, shocking all and sundry. This came days before the company was set to promote a championship pay-per-view card to close out the season.
Donn Davis collaborates the future of PFL-Bellator
This week marked a historic achievement, as Donn Davis’ PFL joined forces with Scott Coker’s Bellator. The unification makes the hybrid #2 biggest combat sports promotion, only preceded by UFC. Speaking to The MMA Hour’s Ariel Helwani, as of late, Davis divulged more details. He spoke on the aspirations of such a promotion to successfully happen, and the future of several fighters.
Speaking at the segment, Davis mentioned that the PFL champs vs. Bellator champs card will take place in Q1 of 2024. The estimate is in February. He also weighed in on Francis Ngannou, formerly the UFC heavyweight champion. Ngannou recently transitioned over to PFL and is set to make a debutant appearance, after Riyadh season boxing. Deontay Wilder is set as the most likely opponent.
Davis also nudged in the fact that influencer-boxer Jake Paul would fight in the last quarter of 2024. Paul, a recent acquisition at PFL, has reportedly said he needs at least a year to train MMA. The boxer has already commenced his training, a month back.
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