The talks surrounding whether the Professional Fighters League would ultimately purchase Bellator or not has been a constant topic of discussion in the MMA community. One day, the news will say that the two major MMA promotions are nearing an agreement, the next day rumors will be swirling regarding Bellator folding, converting all of their fighters to free agents.
"I don't own Bellator. Bellator is not my company to own or to sell, to keep, to merge. It's owned by Viacom."
Scott Coker won't engage in "speculation" on the potential sale of Bellator, but hopes for "some clarity soon." pic.twitter.com/K48BbPNImt
— MMA Fighting (@MMAFighting) October 8, 2023
Regardless of which direction the gossip is pointing at any given time, the one thing that is certain is that things are changing, and the landscape of MMA in North America could be vastly different without the presence of Bellator.
Following the companies monumental event over the weekend, Scott Coker spoke on the subject in a more open fashion than the public has been recently used to.
“Keep in mind: I don’t own Bellator,” Coker said. “Bellator is not my company to own or to sell or to keep or to merge. It’s owned by Viacom, and they have a process that they do, and they’re doing what they need to do. It’s not something I own to sell or not sell. …
“It’s hard for me to really comment on (the situation) because it’s completely different. Now, there are some feelings that feel the same, but at the end of the day it’s not my company.”
Coker didn’t deny that there may be smoke to the fire, but he also knows that nothing has been made official at this time.
“We’ll see where the future goes as far as if a deal is gonna happen or not gonna happen,” Coker said. “These things take time, and until the time gets solidified it’s just speculation.”
Bellator has been a player in the MMA space since 2008, with Coker at the helm since 2014. They have come a long way since the early days of struggling to fill a casino theater, and are now selling out arenas all over the world.
Headlined by Yaroslav Amosov versus Jason Jackson, Bellator 301 will take place on November 17 in Chicago. With nothing on the books past this November event, many are speculating that this could be the final fight card for the organization.