News broke in January that World Series of Fighting had sold a 60 % share to a consortium of investors. This week, a press release informed us that in 2018, WSOF would morph into the Professional Fighters League – and this appears to be far more than just a simple re-branding initiative.
The PFL, it seems, is more than just a name; it is a format. Boasting a total pot of $10 million, the League will consist of 7 weight divisions – revealed by the President and Founder of WSOF Ray Sefo as bantamweight, featherweight, lightweight, welterweight, middleweight, light heavyweight and heavyweight – with $1 million going to the overall winner in each weight class. The remaining $3 million will be divided among the rest of the competitors.
The promotion’s executive chairman, Russ Ramsey, stated that PFL will feature “a regular season, post-season, and championship structure,”, adding that “The launch of the Professional Fighters League continues the evolution of MMA into a professional, mass-market, prime-time sport for a global audience.”
Forgoing the current event-led structure, PFL’s proposed seasonal format could have major repurcussions for the prize fighting world – and doubtless the world’s biggest players in the MMA world will be keeping a keen eye on progress.
It’s easy to see how a league, followed by a “win-or-go-home” format tournament could engross viewers, and attract further interest in a sport that has never truly embraced regular scheduling.