For the past few years, the MMA community considered Bellator the second league in the world and UFC's main competitor. But in 2023, there were a lot of rumors concerning the sale of Scott Coker's promotion. The Bellator management denied the deal, but the fighters confirmed the information. In this article, we will tell you when the last Bellator tournament will be held, why PFL decided to buy the promotion, and what the league's fighters will face after the purchase.Bet on MMA with 1xBet
Bellator is going to become PFL's donor
Bellator was founded in 2008 by the American entrepreneur Bjorn Rebney. The first tournament was held on April 3, 2009. The card featured Jorge Masvidal and Eddie Alvarez.
At first, Bellator had seasons, like PFL now. However, the league used a single-elimination system.
In 2014, Scott Coker, the former Strikeforce CEO, became the new owner. He eliminated the seasons and introduced a standard system with divisions and belts.
Bellator tried to compete with UFC for a long time but obviously lost this battle in the past few years. The promotion lacked star fighters and a competitive roster. At the same time, the last tournaments' preliminary cards featured strange people who lacked the necessary skills and hardly deserved to perform in the top world league.
On the other hand, PFL was gaining momentum. It appeared in 2017 after the acquisition and restructuring of WSOF. The company has an unorthodox approach, with seasons every year. Athletes compete and earn points in the regular season. Then, the most successful advance to the playoff and fight for a million dollars.
Despite its approach, PFL is of little interest to anyone outside the US. It is of so little interest that most fans call the season "Grand Prix," which is actually not correct. Although PFL's system is interesting, its implementation is poor. For example, the fighter relegated from the regular season can suddenly appear in the semifinals to replace an injured participant.
However, the project is attracting new investors who believe in PFL. It has become especially clear over the last couple of years. The promotion introduced PFL Europe, signed the UFC champion Francis Ngannou on shocking terms, made a deal with popular boxing blogger Jake Paul, and got several women's boxing stars.
And that's not all. Ngannou will also anchor the new Super Fight division featuring star fighters whose earnings depend on PPV. Besides, the Predator will head the PFL Africa league, which will soon be launched.
But that wasn't enough. The PFL obviously needed a huge roster for its development. That's why it turned its attention to Bellator, which had struggled for the last few years.
Saudi Arabia has shocked everyone by signing world football superstars, including Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema. Its government is investing millions of dollars in sports, and MMA is no exception.
In September 2023, SRJ Investments purchased PFL's minority stake for $100 million. After receiving the sheikhs' money, the American promotion started to think about buying Bellator, which cost $500 million. And now the deal seems to be closed.
When will the last Bellator tournament be held?
There have been numerous rumors about the Bellator acquisition for several months, but Scott Coker denied any information. Nevertheless, the sale was discussed, and former league champion Alexander Shlemenko has recently confirmed the information. In his exclusive interview, Storm said the promotion is being sold and won't sign any fighters anymore.
Then Bellator fighter Mukhamed Berkhamov told "Vestnik MMA" that the last tournament will be held in November.
I was told that Bellator 301: Amosov vs. Jackson will be the last event in America, and then there will be no league.
Moreover, the information was confirmed by the promotion's ex-champion Andrey Koreshkov.Bet on MMA with 1xBet
I don't know for sure, but I believe that PFL will let me stay since I'm in the top 3 of our division. They will probably take top fighters. I have a contract, and it suits me. I hope it won't change for the worse. Then I'm ready to fight in PFL. Now I have a five-match winning streak: I have recently defeated Lorenz Larkin and avenged my previous defeat. I also have a good position in the world rankings. I won't go too far, I just want to know the exact terms of what's going to happen. Even if things go wrong, I think I will easily get signed to UFC.
What will happen to Bellator fighters?
PFL will definitely try to sign all top Bellator fighters, but the athletes may refuse. For most of them, PFL is still an unknown promotion, while other famous leagues, including UFC, can also join the battle. For example, ACA. Although Dana White claimed that Bellator fighters are not of great interest to UFC, he was obviously being disingenuous: the strongest league in the world won't refuse to get Vadim Nemkov, Usman Nurmagomedov, A. J. McKee, and some other famous fighters from their competitors' league.
At the same time, there are still many open questions. The strongest Bellator fighter, Vadim Nemkov (according to P4P rating), did not deny the information about the purchase in his exclusive interview. However, he claimed that Bellator plans to organize several events next year.
I don't know where Berkamov got this information. I talked to Bellator managers. They said several tournaments are planned for next year, so Bellator 301 won't be the last one. But even they don't know everything yet. When the company announces everything, it will be clear. As for the future, I will decide where I will go — to UFC or PFL — after the league is closed.
Perhaps the main intrigue is the Lightweight Grand Prix. The current league champion, Usman Nurmagomedov, has made it to the finals, where he will face the winner of the Alexandr Shabliy vs. Patricky Freire bout, which will be held on November 18. Will the $1 million Grand Prix finals be held by PFL or just canceled? It is yet unknown.
Bellator has come a long way and achieved considerable success by becoming UFC's main competitor. MMA fans have always respected the promotion, but its history is apparently ending. The PFL is faced with a tough task. I doubt it will seriously challenge UFC, where everything works perfectly, even with the sheikhs' money and best Bellator fighters. So far, PFL looks like a money bubble that will burst sooner or later.Bet on MMA with 1xBet "I Was Signed To The UFC To Fight Chimaev". Aliskerov Talks About His Opponents, Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov And Top Fighters "Even Fighters Under 61 Kg Can Beat Pimblett". UFC Fighter Mokaev Talks About His Provocative Opponent, Conor And Pavlovich Battle For Potential Title Contender Status: Tsarukyan Finally Gets Top UFC Opponent