As most MMA fans have heard, World Series of Fighting has rebranded as the Professional Fighters League. The promotion will be structured like the big three in sports; the NFL, NBA, and MLB with a regular season leading to playoffs and ultimately crowning a champion beginning in January 2018.
The first season will consist of seven different weight classes with each fighter competing in three regular season fights. The fighters with the best records will then compete in the playoffs and, finally, the championship. Each of the champions in the seven weight classes will win $1 million, with $3 million getting dispersed among the remaining fighters.
After rumors of the demise of WSOF, a group of businessmen including Russ Ramsey, Donn Davis, and Mark Leschly purchased the struggling promotion and co-founded the Professioanl Fighters League. Ray Sefo and Carlos Silva will remain with the new group of owners.
Ray Sefo stated: “All fighters deserve to control their own destiny, to win or lose on their own merits. There are thousands of professional MMA fighters, and yet in the entire history of the sport, only a handful of these athletes have ever fought for $1 million. We are proud to offer that opportunity to every fighter in the Professional Fighters League.”
Sefo also sent out an email to the fighters informing them of the news prior to the official press release:
Since the news broke, reaction to the new venture has been mostly negative, and I don’t know why. The PFL has an opportunity to provide MMA fans an alternative to both the UFC and Bellator way of match-making. UFC fans have been forced to watch fights/cards that may make sense to them financially, but have little regard to rankings and the pursuit of championship titles. Bellator cards are loaded with fighters fresh off the regional circuit, squash matches, and former UFC fighters. The MMA landscape has become stale.
The PFL is providing more opportunities for fighters. More opportunities for them to make money. It wasn’t until UFC 196 where we saw Conor McGregor become the first UFC fighter to pull in $1 million. That type of payday will be life-changing money for any of the fighters competing.
The million dollar payday aside, by offering its fighters a regular paycheck and treating wins and losses like they matter – like a real sport – the promotion has an opportunity to change the future of MMA. What’s not to like about that?
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