Don Davis believes PFL has taken the next step toward greatness.
The league officially announced Monday that it has acquired Bellator MMA’s roster and assets, a move that greatly strengthens the PFL’s standing in the MMA world. As the founder of PFL, Davis could not be more excited about the possibilities that lie ahead for his organization, especially in terms of how acquisitions will accelerate the league’s growth.
Davis was featured MMA hour Shortly after the PFL-Bellator news broke, UFC CEO Dana White discussed a number of topics, including whether he was feeling the heat after months of acquisition rumors. White recently denied the PFL and Bellator when asked about potential news, but Davis sees this as a sign that he and his team are pushing the right buttons.
“Everyone knows Dana so well that he just ignores concerns or otherwise doesn’t comment,” Davis said. “He didn’t comment on the PFL for four years because he wasn’t worried. He’s commented on the PFL many times over the last six months. It’s worrying.
“What was particularly concerning to him about Bellator was the metrics he listed in the press release: 30% of its roster ranked in the top 25 per Fight Matrix rankings, which is a significant increase in Dana’s It’s not about ranking the fighters, it’s about dons ranking their own guys. Fight Matrix is the only group that independently ranks all fighters. 30% of the UFC roster ranks in the top 25. players, and now the combined company of PFL and Bellator has 30%. Same.
“Now, to the UFC’s credit, if you look at the top five in the world, the UFC still owns the top five from No. 1 to No. 5. – We can’t compete with them at this point in terms of cards, which means we only have two and they have 12. If you say you have the TV on, otherwise I’m going to watch this Bellator International Series or PFL on Friday night, our card will be better. Better.The one I wore this year was ranked 70th. [on average Fight Matrix ranking] So he said, “I don’t know why on God’s green earth anyone would buy this,” because he’s smart enough to know that.
“UFC is not the NFL. We are not the Instead of being number two, he becomes a co-leader. He doesn’t want that. That’s what’s happening.”
For years, there has been a lot of discussion about the second-largest organization in MMA after the UFC. Bellator was long considered the default answer in North America, but PFL later claimed that spot and ONE Championship said Bellator’s presence in the Asian market made it the de facto No. 2 mixed martial arts promotion. insisted.
With PFL and Bellator teaming up, the debate appears to be over.
Although excited by Monday’s news, Davis is not resting on his laurels and has made it clear that his goal is to one day rival the UFC, rather than content to just follow suit.
“Company founders always go back to day one,” Davis said. “On day one, people said, ‘This whole season format isn’t going to work.’ The UFC is an 8,000-pound gorilla that hundreds of companies have tried.” So on a day like this, it’s hard to imagine the next chapter. Let’s think about it. Our first goal is to get second place. That was really my first goal. Check it out, we did it. Now, our next goal is to get new assets, new capabilities, and great fighters, but how can we become co-leaders?
“Being an entrepreneur is never done. You never sit still and say, ‘What’s next?’ So what we’re going to do next is OK, second, check. Now, let’s aim to be co-leaders. ”
In explaining his boundless optimism, Davis cited his mentor Ted Leonsis, best known to sports fans as the owner of three Washington sports teams: the Wizards, Capitals and Mystics. did. Davis said one of Leonsis’ famous phrases was “Declare Victory,” which he would use often in business and life.
The way Davis sees it, victory isn’t about the PFL beating the UFC, it’s about the UFC making room at the top for another major player.
“The great thing is the UFC is a great company and they invented this industry,” Davis said. “This is not about taking share or changing share. MMA is growing. MMA is growing 10% a year, other sports are growing 2-3%. They’re doing well. We’re going to do really, really well. And I’m excited to have new teammates in Bellator. I’m excited for all the new fighters to move us forward and win. Masu.
“Next time we come here, when people laughed that we were going to be co-leaders, we’re going to be co-leaders. Just like they laughed when we were number two, we is No. 2. So for me, if you’re on a new Bellator team, if you’re on a new combined PFL team, declare victory.”