Formerly known as World Series of Fighting (WSOF), Professional Fighters League will make it’s debut in 2018 and six of it’s champions would be millionaires by the end of the year.
PFL is the world’s only major MMA league and is the first organization to present MMA as a true sport with individual fighters competing in a regular season that includes playoffs and a season-ending championship.
The PFL has proved to be an excellent source of fighters for the UFC. Current Lightweight contender and the bonus machine Justin Gaethje, Middleweight David Branch and Bantamweight Marlon Moraes have been making waves in the division and where former WSOF (PFL) champions in their respective weight classes.
“We are so excited to launch our inaugural season, and we’re going to do that in New York, in primetime,” PFL CEO Peter Murray told MMAjunkie. “With our partners NBC Sports and Facebook, we have the ability to own Thursday nights and present the sport and PFL around the world to up to 300 million fans. To be part of an organization that is the first to present MMA as a true sport with individual fighters competing in a regular season, advancing to the playoffs, and a season-ending $10 million championship is an incredible opportunity.”
“We believe the format is built to win and built to last,” Murray continued. “Obviously, it’s a format that has worked in other sports, and we absolutely believe it will work in MMA and is a compliment to other formats and promotions, so we’re confident in the format long-term.”
The PFL plan calls for 12 fighters in each of the 6 divisions allowed to compete in two ‘regular season’ fights. From there the top eight fighters in each division are paired together for a single elimination tournament that has each bracket winner crowned season champion and awarded one the richest paydays in MMA of $1 million.
“We believe the format is built to win and built to last,” Murray said. “Obviously, it’s a format that has worked in other sports, and we absolutely believe it will work in MMA and is a compliment to other formats and promotions, so we’re confident in the format long-term.”
PFL season 2018 roster includes former WSOF champions Andre Harrison, Lance Palmer and Smealinho Rama. The roster also includes UFC veterans like Will Brooks, Brian Foster, Marcos Galvao, John Howard, Shawn Jordan, Mike Kyle, Vinny Magalhaes, Ramsey Nijem, Jake Shields, Rick Story and Thiago Tavares, among others.
On the format PFL President Carlos iilva said that,“It’s absolutely sustainable, and we think it’s what the sport needs. So far, the feedback we’ve gotten from the fighters is that they’re excited. That’s why we have ‘fighters’ in our name. We think we’re putting the right team and format together for fighters to create a great product.”
PFL 2018 playoffs pau structure:
- Playoff champions: $1 million
- Playoff runners-up: $200,000
- Playoff semifinal losers: $100,000
- Playoff quarterfinal losers: $50,000
PFL’s inaugural season kicks off on July 7, at the Hulu Theatre at Madison Square Garden in New York.