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PFL and Bellator join forces with U-NEXT to bring MMA to Japan

The Professional Fighters League (PFL) and Bellator, two of the leading mixed martial arts (MMA) organizations in the world, have announced a landmark partnership with U-NEXT, the top video streaming platform in Japan. The deal will give U-NEXT exclusive rights to broadcast PFL and Bellator events in Japan, starting with the historic PFL Champions vs. Bellator Champions pay-per-view event on February 24 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

The PFL Champions vs. Bellator Champions event will feature bouts between the reigning champions of both organizations, in what is being billed as the biggest MMA event of the year. The main event will see PFL heavyweight champion Renan Ferreira take on Bellator heavyweight champion Ryan Bader in a clash of titans. Other matchups include PFL Light Heavyweight champion Impact Kasanganay vs. Bellator Middleweight champion Johnny Eblen, and Former PFL welterweight champion Ray Cooper III vs. Bellator welterweight champion Jason Jackson.

Open Workouts Being Held on 2/21 in Riyadh. Photo: PFL PR

The partnership between PFL, Bellator, and U-NEXT will also include the broadcast of all PFL Global Regular Season, PFL Europe, and PFL MENA events, as well as PFL archival content, on U-NEXT. Additionally, U-NEXT will continue to air live Bellator events, starting with the Bellator Champions Series event on March 22 in Belfast, Northern Ireland. The Bellator Champions Series will feature a Light Heavyweight Title match between Corey Anderson and Ireland’s Karl Moore.

The deal marks a significant milestone for the growth of MMA in Japan, a country with a rich history and fan base for the sport. U-NEXT, which has over 4 million subscribers, will provide Japanese fans with access to the best MMA content from around the world, featuring some of the most exciting and talented fighters in the industry.

PFL SVP, International James Frewin said, “A core component of our global expansion strategy is to partner with leading media platforms in key territories around the world, and we couldn’t be more excited about this multi-year agreement with U-NEXT to bring the best in MMA to fans in Japan.”

CEO, U-NEXT Tenshin Tsutsumi said, “We are delighted to announce our strategic partnership with the Professional Fighters League, the world’s most premiere mixed martial arts organization. Beginning with PFL Champions vs. Bellator Champions, U-NEXT will continue to deliver the greatest MMA content to Japanese fans and look forward to solidifying our position as the premiere destination for mixed martial arts.”

This is just one of many moves that the PFL has made recently including a two-year deal with UNIBET. This makes UNIBET the official sportsbook and betting partner of PFL Europe in the UK and France for the 2024 and 2025 seasons.


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