The Professional Fighters League (PFL) mixed martial arts (MMA) promotion has launched a new series of events to take place in growth markets after acquiring rival promotion Bellator.

The Bellator Champions Series will consist of eight events held globally with each having world championship title fights on the card.

The first event of the Bellator Champions Series will be Bellator 302, set to take place on March 22 in Belfast, Northern Ireland, with a Light Heavyweight World Championship bout between Corey Anderson and Karl Moore as the main event.

Events in the Bellator Champions Series will be available to watch across Europe in markets including France and the UK on over-the-top streaming service DAZN, through the streamer’s partnership with PFL.

The event will be the first Bellator event to be held since Bellator 301 in November 2023, which was the last event before the promotion’s purchase by PFL.

Following the merger, PFL chief executive Peter Murray stated that Bellator would maintain its identity and operate separately from PFL, but still as a part of the wider PFL structure, with Bellator 302 the first evidence of that.

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 The US-based PFL is a relative newcomer in combat sports, having launched its first event in 2018. It is backed by SRJ Sports Investments, the sports-focused investment vehicle recently launched by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, which secured a minority stake in the promotion for $100 million in September.

The promotion has a sports-season format with a regular season and post-season playoffs, a unique concept among MMA promotions. Bellator however is seemingly maintaining its adherence to the traditional MMA rankings format with a rolling championship lineage rather than yearly champions based on seasons.