This Saturday, DAZN USA will play host to a mouth-watering Bellator battle royale: first, Gerard Mousasi will take on Rory MacDonald, before the legendary Quinton “Rampage” Jackson and Wanderlej Silva clash for the fourth time. We sat down with Chris Legentil, VP Communications & PR for DAZN North America, to learn a little more about what Bellator means to the US, and how DAZN plans to bring combat action to fans.
At DAZN, competition is deeply rooted in our heritage. We help enable sports fans around the world to watch the best compete against their rivals. Nowhere is this competition so intense as in combat sports.
Based on an innate desire to see two athletes in their prime compete for supremacy, boxing and mixed martial arts (MMA) represent sport at its most raw and unfiltered.
Boxing and Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) are building momentum globally. Outside of their established, loyal fan bases, both sports have leveraged superstars to drive engagement with new fans. For example, the UK’s heavyweight boxing superstar Anthony Joshua has smashed domestic pay-per-view records, and MMA’s Chael Sonnen has long been entertaining fans with his unrivalled trash talk. While the structures within the sports are different, both look to harness the skill, athletic ability and personalities of their athletes to capture and retain fan bases.
That’s why, at DAZN, we’re betting big on combat sports.
We recently announcement that Bellator, a leading MMA promotion, and DAZN had signed a landmark multi-year global distribution agreement. The nine-figure deal will empower Bellator to recruit the best fighters in the world, further stack their fight cards and bring MMA fans a heightened product.
Ultimately, MMA fans want to see great fighters in competitive fights and at DAZN we are creating an ecosystem in which this can be a reality. DAZN’s model allows Bellator to not only increase the quality of its product but the volume as well. Fighters get more exposure, and fans can indulge in more fights with more variety: between new fighters at the start of their professional careers, fights where talented prospects are pushing to become contenders, championship quality fights with title belts on the line and legacy fights between legends of the sport.
The first DAZN-exclusive Bellator card kicks off this Saturday, 29th September with the fourth fight in the legendary rivalry between Quinton “Rampage” Jackson and Wanderlei Silva; a mouth-watering and highly nostalgic battle for any fan that has been following the sport for more than 10 years, as well as a champion vs. champion bout featuring Gerard Mousasi and Rory MacDonald.
DAZN brings immediate accessibility, no contracts, no pay-per-view (PPV), and houses it all in one place. Fans will have the opportunity to watch PPV-worthy fights throughout the year, live and on demand.
We’re confident that the Bellator deal, coupled with our $1 billion Matchroom Boxing deal, has put the industry on a alert – which is a good thing for fight fans as everyone ups their game.
Chris Legentil, VP of Communications & PR, North America