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Beating UFC to Saudi Arabia with Super Fight PPV ‘not on the radar’ for PFL founder Donn Davis — ‘We’re playing our own game’

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After more than 20 years atop the mixed martial arts (MMA) game, Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) is finally going to Saudi Arabia, even though a fight card “was never proposed.”

Better late than never.

By the time it gets there, PFL will have already tied a ribbon around its PFL vs. Bellator “Champions” pay-per-view (PPV) card, which takes place this Sat. night (Feb. 24, 2024) at Kingdom Arena in Riyadh.

Just don’t expect PFL founder Donn Davis to celebrate his first win over UFC.

“Beating UFC to Saudi Arabia was not on my radar,” Davis told MMAmania.com. “You have to be a little crazy competitive to try to build a company. What was most gratifying for me, in terms of launching in Saudi Arabia, was the chance to pit champions vs. champions in our first event. If you ask me, what am I thrilled about, it’s not beating UFC, it’s putting on an event that’s never been done before — and have the fan feedback, the socials, the Reddits, say ‘wow, that was cool.’ We’re not here to beat UFC, we’re here to be the co-leader. This is not about us vs. them, it’s about PFL becoming the co-leader in MMA. We’re playing our own game.”

PFL has been making some major moves over the last few months. In addition to acquiring Bellator MMA, Davis and Co. recently inked a multi-year streaming deal with ESPN. That said, there was still some concern about how well the PFL vs. Bellator card would perform in Riyadh with no existing precedent.

“We didn’t even know how the tickets would sell but it sold out,” Davis continued. “It’s like in the United States, sometimes we go to a market, it’s a new MMA market, sometimes we don’t sell out. UFC will always sell out, but we won’t sell out. Here we sold out. So I think people are interested, it’s a huge card. I think MMA is still just starting its growth. We thought the card would do really well, globally, but locally? Will it sell out or not sell out? You don’t wanna throw a party and have no one show up.”

To see who’s fighting at the PFL vs. Bellator championship PPV event click here.

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