For months now, the rumors have swirled: Bellator MMA is for sale.
Multiple sources previously informed Cageside Press that the promotion was potentially up for grabs. Numerous outlets reported the news, though Bellator reps would not comment publicly on the matter. One particular rumor even got the attention of UFC President Dana White: that the PFL was looking at purchasing Bellator.
White commented on that news during a recent press conference appearance.
“Their [PFL] business strategy. I’m hearing they’re raising money right now, 280 million, 300 million, I don’t know what the number is, from the Middle East,” White said during the UFC Vegas 73 post-fight press conference last month. “I’ve done a lot of business in the Middle East. Those guys are sharp. They know what they’re doing. I don’t know who in the hell would give them 280 million dollars, because I’m hearing they’re buying Bellator, right? You’re an organization that’s burning cash, have no ratings and sell no tickets, and you’re going to raise 280 million to buy a company that’s burning cash, sells no tickets and does no ratings? Sounds absolutely genius to me.”
Through all of it, Bellator MMA itself remained mum on the issue, until Thursday. In a media scrum with reporters (h/t MMA Junkie), Bellator President Scott Coker finally addressed the matter.
“Bellator has been looking to take a partner. That’s really been Viacom that’s been handling that. So we’ll see where that nets out,” said Coker. “We’ll probably have some clarity in the next 60 to 90 days.”
He also confirmed that the Professional Fighters League was in fact one of the companies that Viacom, parent company of Bellator MMA, has been in talks with.
On that front, the PFL “is definitely in the conversation. There’s a couple conversations going on right now with Viacom and other companies. PFL is definitely one of them.”
Bellator is in action Friday with Bellator 297 at the Wintrust Arena in Chicago, featuring a pair of title fights: Vadim Nemkov faces Yoel Romero with the light heavyweight championship on the line, while Patricio Pitbull drops to bantamweight in search of gold in a third weight class, opposite Sergio Pettis.
Beyond that, the promotion has a July date in Japan, and one event in August (Sioux Falls, South Dakota) and September (Dublin, Ireland) announced.