For four years running now, the Professional Fighters League (PFL) has rapidly become one of the most talked-about mixed martial arts (MMA) organizations in the world today.
The outfit has done well in putting on exciting MMA action, featuring some of the sport’s biggest names and making sure that its product is seen by a wide global audience.
But apart from the bright lights and the big names, the league’s success can be attributed to a number of factors that aren’t always seen front and center.
From steps in innovation to an aggressive plan of expansion, here are some of the key reasons why PFL–in the eyes of fans and pundits–has become a frontrunner along with other powerhouse promotions.
Unique format and world-class talent
Since its inception, the league has banked on its unique tournament-style format that features an elimination round, a playoff round, and a finals round.
Fighters from six weight divisions compete for points in the elimination round, with the top four advancing to the playoffs.
At the end of the season, six world champions are crowned and awarded a million-dollar grand prize.
Not only does this format resonate more with sports fans, but it also proves to be a friendlier format for the fighters themselves, who are essentially rewarded based on their performances.
Because of this, PFL has managed to build homegrown stars such as Ray Cooper III and Kayla Harrison, as well as attract some big names like Anthony Pettis, Rory MacDonald and even boxing star Claressa Shields.
Harrison, the league’s reigning two-time women’s lightweight champion, was recently nominated for an ESPY Award for Best MMA Fighter.
She is the only female and the lone non-UFC fighter on the list of nominees.
Currently, PFL’s roster consists of stars from multiple countries such as the United States, Canada, Brazil, Russia, Japan, United Kingdom, UAE and more.
As PFL continues to succeed, expect the league to draw in even more big names or build more stars from the ground up.
Global reach and digital expansion
Over the last four seasons, PFL has continued to expand its reach globally as it is currently seen across over 160-plus countries worldwide through the biggest broadcast platforms, including ESPN in the United States, RMC Sport in France, Fighting.DE in Germany, Switzerland and Austria, Torneos in Latin America (via DirecTV), Sky in New Zealand, MBC Group in the Middle East and North Africa, Mola TV in Southeast Asia and Italy, and ESPN for Sub-Saharan Africa, just to name a few.
The league has also linked up with numerous digital platforms to serve as providers of exclusive content.
This season, PFL took a massive step in its global expansion efforts, with the company set to hold shows outside of the U.S. for the first time in league history.
This coming August, PFL will be holding two consecutive events in the United Kingdom.
These events will be crucial as PFL set the stage for the 2022 season finale.
This should be a promising development for PFL fans around the globe, hoping to one day be able to catch a live event in their area.
Formidable front office
While PFL has some big names inside the cage, the promotion also has some pretty big names in the front office as well, including chairman and co-founder Donn Davis, CEO Peter Murray and president Ray Sefo.
Apart from assembling a solid front office, PFL has also managed to bring in a number of big-name investors–the newest of which being baseball legend Alex Rodriguez.
Moreover, the latest funding round now has PFL valued at $500 million dollars.
It’s hard to deny the heights that PFL has reached in just a short period of time.
If PFL can sustain this kind of success, it’s likely that the league remains one of the sport’s top-tier organizations for years to come.
Currently, PFL is gearing up for their playoff round, which begins on August 5th.