Ariel Helwani Hints That Bellator MMA May Be Up For Sale

MMA journalist Ariel Helwani has hinted on his show that the MMA promotion, Bellator MMA, may be up for sale.

Bellator Helwani
Credit Nicole Bosco

There might be a change of ownership for Bellator MMA in the future according to Ariel Helwani. 

Since the early 90s, the UFC has held firm as the number one MMA promotion in the world. They boast about having the biggest stars and putting on the most MMA events per year. For many years in the court of public opinion, Bellator MMA was near second, at least in terms of popularity and star power. Bellator has a talented roster of fighters and holds a significant number of events per year, all around the world. Over the past few years, other MMA promotions such as PFL have been growing in popularity, which could beg the question, is Bellator MMA in a downcycle? 

This exact topic was brought up by MMA journalist Ariel Helawai during his year-end award show on MMA Fighting. He let a little bit of news leak about the possible future of Bellator MMA, a future that could lead to a change of ownership.

Ariel Helwani states that Bellator MMA could be on the market for sale

Over the last five years or so, Bellator MMA has been signing some big named fighters. Fighters who had been in the UFC, and some that had been champions in other promotions. The names included, Cris Cyborg, Gegard Mousasi, Sergio Pettis, Anthony Johnson, Yoel Romero, and more. The added star talent seemed to boost viewership and interest for a bit, but slowly the PFL began to catch up by adding their own well-known fighters. Now according to Helwani, Bellator MMA as a whole might be up for sale.

“Also, what becomes of Bellator? There are whispers that I’ll just say that they’re on the, they’re on the market,” he said. “You know, they’re on the market, and what becomes of them? What is their future? Where are they going to end up? Can they get back on track? They’ve got the CBS show on February 4. So we’ll see what happens there.”

Right now Bellator MMA is owned by Viacom/CBS and holds its events on Showtime. Helwani is referring to the deal they have to air the next card, taking place on February 4, on cable television in the U.S. on CBS. That upcoming event will be a big one for the company. The event is to be headlined by a heavyweight matchup between champion Ryan Bader and Fedor Emelianenko. Bellator just had a cross-promotional show with Rizin FF which was very successful and showed that there is a future for this organization and fans are still invested.  

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