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Professional Fighters League launches new Bellator MMA Champions Series following major acquisition

Professional Fighters League launches new Bellator MMA Champions Series following major acquisition

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The Professional Fighters League (PFL), the fastest-growing and most innovative sports league, after their industry shaping acquisition of Bellator, has announced the first of eight Bellator Champions Series events will kick off in Belfast, Northern Ireland on Friday March 22 at The SSE Arena, Belfast.

Bellator Champions Series events will take place in top MMA growth markets around the world, featuring world title fights and world ranked fighters on each card. The reimagined Bellator Champions Series is part of a landmark agreement between PFL and DAZN. Beginning with Bellator 302 on March 22 on DAZN fans will be able to watch Bellator Champions Series events at prime times in the UK, Italy, Portugal, Belgium, France and other European markets.

“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” said PFL CEO Peter Murray. “The Bellator Champions Series” will feature reigning Bellator Champion fighters defending their titles against the best fighters in the world from the start 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.”

“The growth in popularity of MMA is being matched by the innovation and promotion that DAZN is delivering in partnership with the Professional Fighters League.” Pete Oliver, CEO of Growth Markets for DAZN said. “The Bellator Champions Series is another example of DAZN delivering fantastic matchups, where the best take on the best, and what promises to be some of the best fight nights in the sport for DAZN’s customers. All delivered by our award-winning app, which is widely available across smart and internet enabled devices, through a broad range of distribution partnerships, and with a variety of flexible and accessible price points.”

Bellator Champions Series kicks off with Bellator 302, headlined by a battle for the vacant Bellator Light Heavyweight World Championship between Corey “Overtime” Anderson (17-6, 1 NC) and Belfast’s own Karl Moore (12-2). In addition, Belfast’s Leah McCourt (8-3) faces Sinead Kavanagh (9-6) in a 2022 rematch.

“The PFL is excited to kick off the new Bellator Champions Series this March in Belfast,” said James Frewin, SVP International at PFL. “Along with our great partner DAZN we look forward to giving MMA fans a premium experience through the PFL’s eight Bellator Champions Series events.”

Tickets for Bellator Champions Series in Belfast will be available via special pre-sale beginning Wednesday, February 6, with a general on-sale of Thursday, February 7 at ticketmaster.ie. Doors for Bellator 302 open at 4 pm local time, with the first preliminary bout taking place one hour later at 5 pm.

Additional distribution information including a U.S. broadcast partner will be announced in coming weeks.

Prior to the Professional Fighter’s Leagues industry shaping acquisition of Bellator in November of 2023, Bellator held 301 events building a recognized worldwide roster of elite talent. In re-imagining Bellator the PFL will continue the commitment of investing in athletes from underserved regions while continuing to add global stars to the roster.

Bellator 302 Main Event & Co-Main Event:
Light Heavyweight World Title Bout: Corey Anderson (17-6, 1 NC) vs. Karl Moore (12-2)
Women’s Featherweight Co-Main Event: Leah McCourt (8-3) vs. Sinead Kavanagh (9-6)

Corey Anderson signed with Bellator in 2020 and made an immediate impact on the 205-pound division. The Rockton, Ill. native most recently defeated former champion Phil Davis and now will enter his matchup at Bellator 302 with his sights set on capturing the thus far elusive Light Heavyweight Championship. Standing across form him will be Belfast native Karl Moore. Moore is 4-0 under the Bellator banner, with finishes in seven of 12 appearances as a professional.

A nine-fight Bellator veteran, Leah McCourt makes her return to Bellator in a highly anticipated Women’s Featherweight clash against Sinead Kavanagh. Kavanagh has built a reputation around her knockout power and relentless style of fighting. The pair of featherweights first encountered each other in 2022 at Bellator 275 in Dublin where Kavanagh emerged victorious. The two will look to prove who is the division’s top contender.