PFL founder Donn Davis is sure he’s caught the attention of UFC CEO Dana White with his promotion’s latest move.
Davis believes the talk of PFL acquiring Bellator, which was finally made official Monday, has been worrying White and the UFC. With the entire roster of Bellator fighters at its disposal, the deal has the potential to shake up the MMA industry in a major way.
“Everybody knows Dana well enough that he only dismisses things that worry him, or else he just doesn’t comment,” Davis said on “The MMA Hour.” “He didn’t comment on the PFL for four years because he wasn’t worried. He has commented on the PFL a lot in the last six months. He’s worried.”
Bellator and PFL competed for several years, with each promotion claiming to be No. 2 in the industry behind UFC. However, now combined, Davis believes that argument no longer holds. He believes the PFL-Bellator merger puts them as “co-leaders” with the UFC.
“What specifically worried him about Bellator is the metrics that we put on the press release,” Davis explained. “Thirty percent of that roster is ranked in the top 25 of Fight Matrix rankings. This is not ‘Dana gets to rank his own guys. Donn is rankings his own guys.’ As you know, there’s only one group ranking all fighters independently – Fight Matrix. Thirty percent of the UFC roster is top 25 ranked, and now our combined company of PFL and Bellator is 30 percent. The same.
“Now, to UFC’s credit, if you look at the top five in the world, they still own the top five one through five. So called pay-per-view cards, we couldn’t compete with them right now, which is why we’re only going to have two, and they have 12. But if you say I’m turning on TV on ESPN Saturday night, or I’m going to tune in Friday night to watch this Bellator International Series or PFL, our cards are going to be better.”
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