Earlier today, the World Series of Fighting announced that it will restructure as well as rebrand the five-year-old promotion company as the all-new Professional Fighters League. Touting itself as “the world’s only mixed martial arts league,” PFL’s inaugural season — starting in January 2018 — will run for 10 months and will feature seven different weight classes, according to MMAFighting.com. Every fighter will compete in three regular season fights, and those with the best records will move on to a single-elimination postseason. Winners of each division will earn a $1 million USD purse, while an additional $3 million USD will be shared among the remaining competitors. There is no word yet on which weight classes will help make up the field of fighters, nor do we know what will happen with the current WSOF Champions and the other 100-or-so fighters still under WSOF contracts once the changeover to the new league gets underway. A broadcasting deal has yet to be announced either.
WSOF was purchased earlier this year by Washington, D.C. businessmen Donn Davis, Russ Ramsey and Mark Leschly, in addition to investment money from owner of the Washington Wizards, Capitals and Mysitcs, Ted Leonsis, and the Lerner family, who own the Washington Nationals. It has fallen on hard times over its half-decade in existence, including its share of lawsuits, however WSOF is a strong player in the world of putting on professional MMA fights, competing closely with the likes of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
In a press release, as reported by MMAJunkie.com, PFL Executive Chairman Russ Ramsey says of his new investment that “The Professional Fighters League brings a proven sports format that fans love and athletes respect to MMA for the first time. The launch of the (PFL) continues the evolution of MMA into a professional, mass-market, prime-time sport for a global audience.”
Soon-to-be former WSOF president and now the new PFL president, Raf Stefo added “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 [USD]. We are proud to offer that opportunity to every fighter in the Professional Fighters League.”
Visit www.professionalfightersleague.com for more information.