Bellator officials on Tuesday confirmed previously reported plans for a Sept. 29 “must-see” event in California, along with a new “nine-figure” streaming deal.
While most of the details surrounding the Sept. 29 event had already been reported, details of the streaming deal had yet to come to light.
The deal, which was announced Tuesday morning at a press conference in New York, is with DAZN, a digital streaming service that focuses on live streaming and on-demand sports viewing. The new deal is a “nine-figure, multi-year distribution deal,” according to Bellator president Scott Coker. It encompasses seven events exclusive to DAZN, in addition to another 15 events that will be simulcast in the United States on Paramount Network and DAZN.
Bellator officials confirmed to MMAJunkie that all the non-exclusive events will stream live on DAZN, regardless of whether or not Paramount broadcasts live.
Currently available in Austria, Germany, Japan, Switzerland, and Canada, DAZN is expected to debut in the United States prior to Bellator’s Sept. 29 event.
Coker said the DAZN agreement carries much more weight than a simple streaming deal.
“This exciting new partnership with DAZN is a game-changer for Bellator,” Coker said. “The investment will enable us to continue expanding our roster with free agents that make sense, so we can put on pay-per-view worthy fight cards that fans will want to see.”
Bellator’s Sept. 29 event at the SAP Center in San Jose, Calif., will mark the first event of the DAZN deal. It will stream live, exclusively on the streaming network.
Bellator officials confirmed that the previously reported Sept. 29 main event will see middleweight champion Gegard Mousasi put his belt on the line against welterweight titleholder Rory MacDonald.
The first DAZN fight card will also feature a fourth bout between Wanderlei Silva and Quinton “Rampage” Jackson. Silva won the first two meetings under the Pride banner in Japan, while Jackson exacted a measure of revenge when they met in the UFC’s Octagon in Las Vegas.
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In addition to the two feature bouts, Bellator will kick off a welterweight grand prix with the first bout of the tournament taking place in San Jose. The welterweight grand prix is going to be similar to the current heavyweight grand prix with individual bouts scattered across multiple events.
No participants have been announced for the welterweight grand prix, but Bellator has a strong roster of contingents at 170 pounds, including the likes of Douglas Lima, Andrey Koreshkov, Michael Page, Paul Daley, Jon Fitch, Lorenz Larking, and others.