Dana White admits Bellator going away is “a bad thing” for MMA

By Cole Shelton - December 18, 2023

UFC CEO Dana White says Bellator merging into PFL is a bad thing for MMA and the sport as a whole.

Dana White

Bellator was recently purchased by PFL as the two companies will merge into one. However, Bellator will continue under a “reimagined” system at PFL called the Bellator International Champions Series. The Bellator series will include eight events per year with each card featuring two title fights at the top.

Although Bellator will continue on its own for the time being, Dana White knows the two will eventually just be one promotion which is bad news for the entire sport of MMA. According to White, taking away an option for fighters in free agency is bad for fighters currently and those coming up.

“You mean Bellator going to PFL? It is a bad thing… What I will say, but yes It’s a bad thing. It’s not a good thing for there to be a less options, not only for fighters that are fighting but guys who are coming up to have less options. Yes, it’s definitely not a good thing,” White said after UFC 296.

With Bellator and PFL merging, as Dana White says that means there are fewer openings for fighters to compete at the highest level in MMA which is not a good thing for the sport.

However, by PFL merging with Bellator it does make them a legit competitor now to the UFC, which Donn Davis has said has made Dana White worried.

“Everybody knows Dana well enough that he only dismisses things that worry him. Or else he just doesn’t comment. He didn’t comment on the PFL for four years, cause he wasn’t worried,” Donn Davis said on The MMA Hour about Dana White. “He’s commented on the PFL a lot (in) the last six months, you’re worried… He’s smart and he knows that. UFC ain’t the NFL, we are not the XFL, but he wants you to think that. It’s just a matter of time before that starts to get more well-known and we aren’t number two and we are a co-leader and he doesn’t want that.”

Whether or not there is some truth to Davis’ comments which is why Dana White says PFL and Bellator merging is bad for the sport is uncertain. But, along with White, several managers have also thought the same that the deal is bad for fighters and the sport in general.


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