PFL chairman Donn Davis believes his promotion is finally on the radar of UFC CEO Dana White.
Following a long-awaited announcement Monday that the PFL had acquired Bellator, Davis said he thinks the UFC – long considered the premier promotion in MMA – is concerned by the PFL’s recent advances within the industry.
“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’s commented on the PFL a lot in the last six months. He worried.”
White has taken time to address the PFL’s recent business moves, from the Francis Ngannou signing to rumors that the promotion was in talks to purchase Bellator.
The PFL owns a greater share of elite MMA fighters than before after absorbing Bellator’s roster, and that’s what Davis sees as concerning to White. Davis, who founded the PFL in 2017, believes the PFL is clearly the No. 2 MMA promotion now and is on track to becoming a “co-leader” with the UFC.
“UFC ain’t the NFL. We’re not the XFL. But he wants you to think that,” Davis said of White. “And it’s just a matter of time before that starts to get more well-known and we’re not No. 2 – we’re a co-leader. He doesn’t want that. That’s what’s going on.”
When asked where the PFL stands in five years, Davis had no doubt about his answer.
“We’re the co-leader in MMA, flat out,” Davis said. “But we do things different. We think different. We innovate different. … We co-promote. We give fighters opportunity. We let them box. We give them 50% pay-per-view share. We think different. And we’re the co-leader.
“They do what they do. Fantastic. We do what we do. The market is big enough for two very, very, very big, valuable companies.”