Dana White has spoken about the positives of Bellator continuing in the MMA sphere after uncertainty surrounding their future.
As we have reported previously, the PFL was linked with buying the organization after suggestions that it would take $500 million to close a deal. Although that may have been the case, nothing has materialized in that regard by way of an offer. Bellator’s CEO, Scott Coker, has indicated that the organization will continue to have events in 2024.
In and amongst that, the UFC and WWE have merged together to form TKO Group Holdings, Inc. Meanwhile, the PFL has received over $100 million in investment from the Saudi Investment Public Fund’s entity SRJ Sports Investments. That increase in competition has put pressure on Bellator to remain competitive. But rather than see it go under, White hoped that the organization would continue to remain strong.
“If Bellator continues to exist, it’s not a bad thing, it’s a good thing. If you look at all the s*** we take about a lot of things, they’re owned by f***ing Viacom. You know how much money these guys have? Why would they be going out of business unless they’re just tired of doing it. You’re hearing rumors about Showtime, too, not just Bellator,” White stated
Ryan Bader’s Withdrawal
Nevertheless, Bellator’s future remains uncertain if their following conduct is anything to go by. Ryan Bader, the Bellator heavyweight champion, revealed why he would not be fighting at Bellator 300.
The event will take place on October 7th, 2023, without the champion’s scheduled fight against Linton Vassell. This would have been a rematch of their 2017 clash at Bellator 186, which Bader won by stopping his opponent in the second round. But any chances of a repeat have now been ruled out. Vassell pulled out due to an illness, and yet, the fight was pulled altogether just as Corey Anderson had offered to step in. And now Bader has revealed that Bellator’s parent company, Viacom, was simply not willing to pay for a replacement.
“We told Bellator we are good with anything, and it looks like Viacom doesn’t want to pay. They are out Oct and this falling through saves them money,” Bader said
White Slams Showtime Again
Just as Bader had reservations over Bellator, Dana White was once again very critical of Showtime’s production. The UFC CEO hit out at Showtime’s coverage of the Canelo Alvarez and Jermell Charlo fight.
The fight reportedly generated over a gate of $20 million as Alvarez comprehensively beat Charlo to win by a unanimous decision. But in truth, the clear gulf in class was apparent as Charlo barely threatened to hurt the Mexican as he fought at 168 pounds for the first time in his career after jumping up two weight divisions. And that played out in the production, according to White.
“You know what I think of Showtime as a company, there’s no secret. Again, I could go on for days about their production on Saturday. They tried to do it better. I noticed. Showtime, I noticed you tried to do it better, but you guys suck.When you know what you’re looking for and you know what you’re talking about in the production world, there’s nobody that can disagree with me that Showtime a horrible, horrible f****** production team,” White
If Showtime does pull out of boxing, then there is a gap that will need to be filled. White has spoken previously about the prospect of entering into the sport of boxing. And his comments do indicate a belief that he would be able to put on better events. After all, White has been praised for putting on the biggest UFC fights which is often the criticism that the sport of boxing receives for not doing so.