PFL announces Bellator Champions Series, prime time broadcasts for overseas markets

Bellator MMA is making a comeback in 2024.

On Monday, the PFL announced plans for the Bellator Champions Series, which premieres with an event on March 22 at The SSE Arena, Belfast in Belfast, Northern Ireland. The Bellator 302 card is headlined by a previously reported bout between Corey Anderson and Karl Moore for a vacant light heavyweight title, and top featherweight contender Leah McCourt fighting Sinead Kavanagh.

Watch a trailer for the announcement below.

This news comes four months after the PFL’s blockbuster acquisition of Bellator, which raised questions as to the future of the long-running promotion. The first joint event between the two organizations takes place on Feb. 24 and is being billed as PFL vs. Bellator: Champs, which is not to be confused with the upcoming Champions Series.

The Champions Series is focused on international markets, with events available to be viewed in primetime on DAZN in several European countries. The U.K., Italy, Portugal, Belgium, and France are specifically mentioned in the PFL’s press release.

“After the landmark acquisition of Bellator, the Professional Fighters League is excited to officially announce a new era of MMA with the launch of the ‘Bellator Champions Series’ global franchise,” PFL CEO Peter Murray said in the release. “The Bellator Champions Series will feature reigning Bellator Champion fighters defending their titles against the best fighters in the world from the star-studded Bellator roster. Fans will have access to the best competition and the most innovate formats in MMA distributed by leaders in sport including DAZN.”

Broadcast plans for U.S. viewers are still to be announced.

The first Bellator Champions Series event features Belfast’s own Moore and McCourt in pivotal matchups. Moore fights Anderson for a 205-pound belt recently vacated by Vadim Nemkov, who is moving up to heavyweight, and McCourt looks to avenge a 2022 decision loss to Kavanagh.

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