Is the PFL ready to compete with the UFC for top promotion in the North American MMA scene? It seems PFL founder Donn Davis is not the only one who thinks so.
While not everyone agrees with the confidence that Davis has in his product after acquiring Bellator back in November, former flyweight champion Juliana Velasquez (7-2 in Bellator) feels the combination of the two promotions will be viewed evenly with the UFC as industry co-leader. Additionally, Velasquez believes that the notoriety that the PFL gained through getting involved with Francis Ngannou and Jake Paul has also assisted their recent growth.
“PFL is growing a lot, these fights they’re doing, Francis Ngannou in boxing and these YouTubers, Jake Paul… I think that combining their athletes to Bellator’s will give fighters more name and more opportunity to show their value.
“I really think PFL can go head-to-head with the UFC. It already does, I think. It’s going to be pretty even in the eyes of the public. I think it’s going to be super cool.”
-Juliana Velasquez via Trocação Franca podcast
Earlier this month, the UFC’s CEO Dana White was asked about the PFL now being viewed as the co-leader alongside his organization, given the comparability in the rosters. White responded by bringing into question their ticket sales and more interestingly their TV ratings, which surely raised some eyebrows. The PFL, just like the UFC, has a broadcast partnership deal with ESPN.
While there are clearly differing views on this topic across the MMA space, it will be very interesting to see how the industry is affected by the PFL and Bellator combining forces in an attempt to compete with the UFC.