Bellator Middleweight Champion Johnny Eblen feels a Bellator-PFL merger would do more harm than good in mixed martial arts.
Eblen defeated Fabian Edwards by vicious third-round TKO to remain unbeaten in his MMA career. The win at Bellator 299 cemented himself further as one of the top pound-for-pound fighters on the planet.
Eblen’s win headlined an eventful card in Dublin last weekend. The card featured many exciting fights and was capped off by the middleweight champion’s dominant victory.
Amidst the aftermath of his latest title defense, Eblen and other Bellator fighters await the future of the promotion. It’s been rumored that the PFL is finalizing a deal to purchase Bellator and merge the two fight rosters.
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Johnny Eblen Weighs In On PFL/Bellator Rumors
In a recent interview on The MMA Hour, Eblen gave a less-than-glowing reaction to a possible Bellator-PFL merge.
“Quite possibly it could’ve been my last fight with Bellator, or not,” Eblen said. “They could have a few more events and drag this a little bit longer…I think it’s bad, personally. It’s two major organizations that are controlling a lot of fighters. I know PFL is meaning well, though, and they’re trying to get guys paid more, so I can kinda see how it might be good. But, you don’t know until it’s actually done…they could say they’re going to pay fighters more and whatnot, but then absorb Bellator and do the same thing that the UFC’s doing.”
Reports of PFL negotiating to buy Bellator ramped up this summer. The PFL brass, including Ray Sefo and Peter Murray, have remained tranquil on the state of the deal.
Eblen rose to prominence in Bellator after a successful career in NCAA wrestling. He earned the Bellator middleweight title by defeating Gegard Mousasi at Bellator 282 before defending it against Anatoly Tokov and Edwards.
A possible PFL-Bellator merger is still technically hypothetical as of this writing. However, Eblen is hopeful that one of the most unprecedented mergers in MMA history doesn’t come to fruition.
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