According to a new report, Tony Khan and his father Shahid could be looking to add Bellator MMA to their list of acquisitions.
The Khan family has successfully built an empire in sports, serving as owners of not the Fulham Football Club and the Jacksonville Jaguars, but also heading up All Elite Wrestling. Tony Khan announced back in March of 2022 that he’d also acquired Ring of Honor, bringing another longtime wrestling brand into the fold.
According to Ariel Helwani on the latest episode of The MMA Hour, the Khans have now expressed interest in purchasing Bellator MMA. Helwani states that other interested parties include Professional Fighting League (PFL) and Liberty Media, who at one time were in the mix of potential buyers for WWE.
Helwani made it clear that he doesn’t know the level of the Khans’ interest in purchasing the MMA promotion, so it’s unclear how likely the purchase is. Paramount Global currently hold majority ownership of the promotion and has since 2011.
Prior to the announcement that WWE would be merging with UFC to form a new $21+ billion entity under parent company Endeavor, Tony Khan confirmed that he and his father had interest in purchasing their sports entertainment rival and that he and his father are “capable of making big purchases.” Speaking on a January 2023 episode of The Maggie and Perloff Show, Khan said the following:
“I am interested in the news that there is potentially a sales process and certainly, I think we’ve shown, when there are acquisitions and transactions, we’re capable of making the big purchases, whether my dad steps up with the (Jacksonville) Jaguars or Fulham FC in the Premier League and he’s done such a great job building up the club and putting resources into it and we’re playing football at a high level.
“With AEW, we’ve shown that we can build a company. Even when I purchased Ring of Honor, that’s a very different thing than WWE, but Ring of Honor is a company with 20 years of history and I really have enjoyed running it and we’ve shown that we’re at all time highs in terms of every business metric since we relaunched it and it’s only going to get better. AEW is my main focus, but certainly, when that news is out there, it’s very interesting.” (h/t Fightful)