Inside PFL’s rise as no.2 global market leader in MMA

While the UFC continues to reign over the landscape of mixed martial arts worldwide, the Professional Fighters League (PFL) has exploded into the scene and now finds itself right behind the industry leader after just three years.

In an interview with CombatPress.com, PFL founder Donn Davis said that the league had established itself as the number-two MMA company globally on multiple factors, including fighter roster, worldwide audience, distribution, and growth.

“So I think what you’re seeing now, by all metrics, is the PFL is the number-two MMA company worldwide. In terms of fighter roster, PFL is number two. For a worldwide audience, PFL is number two. In terms of worldwide distribution, PFL is number two, and in terms of growth, PFL is number two,” Davis said.

Top MMA Promotions - PFL

Season format

But what pushed the PFL out into the front of the pack, alongside the UFC?

Founded in 2017, the league has already been able to put on two massively-successful seasons. Now, they are gearing up for the third season, which kicks off in April.

Notice how the PFL’s year is called a season?

That’s because the league follows a tournament-style format, which is unique in the world of MMA.

The league uses a regular season, playoffs, and finals format, which means the fighters will need to win to advance. At the end of the season, a world champion will be crowned for each weight division, and the winners are awarded one million dollars.

Stacked roster

Making that tournament format all the more exciting for the fans to watch is the stacked roster of fighters that the PFL boasts.

Each of the league’s six weight divisions features veterans and up-and-coming talent from across the globe. The PFL is home to many of the MMA world’s top stars, including PFL Women’s Lightweight Champion Kayla Harrison, two-time PFL Featherweight Champion Lance Palmer, two-time PFL Lightweight Champion Natan Schulte, and many others.

In 2021, the league will have an influx of world championship talent led by Fabricio Werdum, Anthony Pettis, Rory MacDonald, and three-division boxing world champion Claressa Shields, who will be making her mixed martial arts debut.

Top-notch management

While the PFL indeed features an all-star roster of fighters, they also have the number one executive team in sports.

Founder Donn Davis, who was also behind Revolution LLC, has brought together some of the top minds in media, sports, and digital to lead the league to the top.

Leading the charge is PFL CEO Peter Murray, who helped sign some of the biggest names in sports during his time with Under Armour. Executive Producer George Greenberg has over 40 years of experience and is coming off as an Executive Vice President for Fox Sports. President Ray Sefo was the founder of the World Series of Fighting and is a combat sports legend.

Those big names are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the PFL’s executive management roster.

Overwhelming support

The PFL is also backed by a world-class team of investors, including Swan & Legend Venture Partners and Matterhorn Private Equity, and Ted Leonsis, David Blitzer, Mark Lerner, Kevin Hart, Mark Burnett, and Tony Robbins. The league has also managed to secure sponsorships with AB InBev, Socios.com, The Marines, and many others.

The PFL can be seen in the United States via ESPN and in an additional 160 more countries worldwide via various platforms and sports networks.

With all these considered, it’s no surprise that the PFL is already at the top of the MMA mountain, alongside the UFC. With another big year in store in 2021, there’s no telling the heights that the fastest growing sports league in the world can reach.

Follow this writer on Twitter: @alderalmo

Israel Adesanya and Paulo Costa have heated interview ahead of UFC 253

One of the more anticipated fights of 2020 is the fight between Israel Adesanya (19-0) and Paulo Costa (13-0). The two undefeated fighters will fight for the middleweight crown at UFC 253.

The one thing that is very clear it’s that these two do not like each other. In fact, you could say the two top UFC fighters hate each other. Their hatred for each other was on full display in a recent interview on SportsCenter.

UFC 253 is Getting a War

“He’s (Adesanya) not a respectable guy,” Costa said. “The sport doesn’t need his attitude to sell a good fight. He says he’s not boring, look at his last fight…If you fight someone like Romero or me, you need to come to fight. He just stood there… I will bring the fight, I will bring the war,” Costa yelled at Adesanya.

Adesanya responded quickly showing off his 2019 UFC Fight of the Year trophy saying, “That’s just one, I’ve got many.” Adesanya yelled back at Costa saying, “When someone brings the fight, I f–cking fight. You say you’re going to bring the fight, bring that s–t! I’ll show you what I’m about.”

This was just one of the many exchanges throughout the full eleven minute video that you can view above. This fight is truly a matchup between the two best in the UFC‘s middleweight division. We have not seen a title fight between two undefeated fighters since UFC 98 back in 2009.

Technically we had DC/Jones, but Jones had that one DQ loss on his record. These two are undefeated and two of the baddest men on the planet. Costa is right about one thing, all he knows how to do is bring war to his opponents.

Adesanya might be the best technical striker in the UFC and he will have to lean on his countering skills in this one. Costa is going to give him no room to operate so Izzy is going to have to be elusive and catch him coming in. I can’t wait for this fight and we have just over a month to wait.