Professional Fighters League

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Professional Fighters League
Private
Industry Mixed martial arts
Founded 2012
Headquarters Washington, District of Columbia, United States
Key people
  • Peter Murray (CEO)[1]
  • Carlos Silva (League President)[2]
  • Ray Sefo (President, Fighter Ops)
  • George Greenberg (EVP, Exec Producer)[3]
  • Mark Nolan (EVP, Global Partnerships and Media Sales)
  • Russ Ramsey (Co-Founder)
  • Donn Davis (Co-Founder)
  • Mark Leschly (Co-Founder)
Parent MMAX Investors
Website pflmma.com

The Professional Fighters League (PFL); formerly the World Series of Fighting (WSOF), is a mixed martial arts league. It is the first professional MMA organization to present MMA in a format where individual athletes compete in a regular season, “win-or-go-home” post-season, and championship.[4] PFL debuted its inaugural season on June 7, 2018 at Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York, NY. Each champion in the six weight classes will win a championship prize of $1 million each.[5]

Predecessor Promotion History[edit]

The World Series of Fighting (WSOF) formed in 2012, having signed a broadcast deal with the NBC Sports Network. Soon after the promotion's event announcement, WSOF confirmed Bas Rutten and Michael Schiavello would be commentators for the debut event.[6] In September 2013, commentator Kenny Rice, reporter Joey Varner, and ring announcer Jazz Securo were acquired and debuted. Todd Harris, who was under contract with NBC Sports, was the main play-by-play announcer. WSOF held 35 events.[7]

International Promotions[edit]

In 2013, WSOF started the WSOF Global Championship brand that featured events in Japan, China, Philippines, and other destinations.[8]

New Ownership[edit]

In 2017, MMAX Investment Partners, a group of Reston, Virginia investors, acquired a controlling stake in the WSOF.[9] In April of the same year, they renamed the organization the Professional Fighters League.

2018 PFL inaugural season[edit]

Season Format[edit]

The PFL 2018 season has 72 fighters in six weight-classes, competing in seven regular season events on Thursday nights in June, July, and August. The top eight in each weight-class will face-off in bracket-style, single elimination playoff fights on Saturday nights in October. The PFL 2018 season will conclude on December 31 with six championship bouts back-to-back with a $10 million prize pool.[10]

Fight Format and Point System[edit]

PFL uses the Unified Rules of Mixed Martial Arts regulated by the Nevada State Athletic Commission. The League uses a unique ten-sided (decagon) cage for their events.[11]

The eight fighters with the most points in each weight class advance will advance to the playoff rounds. The point system consists of outcome-based scoring and bonuses for an early win. Under the outcome-based scoring system, the winner of a fight receives three points and the loser receives zero points. If the fight ends in a draw, both fighters will receive one point. The bonus for winning a fight in the first, second, or third round is three points, two points, and one point, respectively. For example, if a fighter wins a fight in the first round, the fighter will receive six total points.[12]

2018 Events[edit]

In 2018, the seven regular season events (referred to as PFL1-PFL7) will be held at the Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden, the Chicago Theatre, GWU Smith Center, Nassau Coliseum, and Ocean Resort Casino.[13] The the playoff events will be held at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, the Long Beach Arena, and the St. Elizabeths East Entertainment and Sports Arena. The championship event will be held at the Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden.

PFL1-7 events of the regular season, playoff events and the championship event are scheduled as follows:[14]

  • Thursday, June 7: Madison Square Garden, New York, NY
  • Thursday, June 21: Chicago Theater, Chicago, IL
  • Thursday, July 5: GWU Smith Center, Washington, D.C.
  • Thursday, July 19: Nassau Coliseum, Long Island, NY
  • Thursday, August 2: Nassau Coliseum, Long Island, NY
  • Thursday, August 16: Ocean Resort Casino, Atlantic City, NJ
  • Thursday, August 30: Ocean Resort Casino, Atlantic City, NJ
  • Friday, October 5: Playoff Event, Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, New Orleans, LA
  • Saturday, October 13: Playoff Event, Long Beach Arena, Long Beach, CA
  • Saturday, October 20: Playoff Event, St. Elizabeths East Entertainment and Sports Arena, Washington D.C.
  • Monday, December 31: Championship Event, Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden, New York, NY

Roster[edit]

As on June 18, 2018, The PFL roster currently includes 72 fighters in six weight classes.[15]

Broadcast distribution[edit]

On January 29, 2018, the League announced it had reached a multi-platform distribution deal for the inaugural 2018 season with NBC Sports Group and Facebook.[16] Within the United States, NBC Sports Group will establish a live Thursday night PFL franchise, presenting seven regular-season live events in prime time exclusively on NBCSN beginning June 7, 2018, through the end of August 2018. Events televised by NBCSN will also stream on NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app. All regular season events will have encore telecasts on NBCSN later the same night. Outside the U.S., Facebook will stream up to six hours of live coverage for each event. Facebook will also open each event with a live 30-minute pre-fight show and close with a live 30-minute post-fight show. In the U.S., fans can watch the first three hours of undercard coverage of each event on Facebook prior to NBCSN’s presentation of the main bouts.[17]

Broadcast Team[edit]

PFL’s broadcast team for live events and pre- and post-event shows includes Randy Couture, Bas Rutten, Yves Edwards, Caroline Pearce and Todd Harris. Todd Harris provides play-by-play while Randy Couture provides color commentary. Bas Rutten and Caroline Pearce conduct pre- and post-fight interviews and Yves Edwards offers video breakdowns and fight analysis.[18]

PFL Standings - by weight class[edit]

[19][20][21][22]

In all weight categories, the top 8 fighters in each weight class qualify for the 2018 league playoff.

Featherweight[edit]

FIGHTER RANKING POINTS PFL RECORD MMA RECORD NEXT FIGHT
Steven Siler 1 12 2-0-0 31-17-0 N/A
Lance Palmer 2 9 2-0-0 14-3-0
Andre Harrison 3 6 2-0-0 19-0-0
Timur Valiev 4 6 2-0-0 14-2-0
Alexandre Almeida 5 6 1-1-0 19-8-0
Max Coga 6 4 1-1-0 20-5-0
Nazareno Malegarie 7 3 1-1-0 29-5-0
Marcos Galvao 8 0 0-1-0 18-10-1
Magomed Idrisov 9 0 0-1-0 8-2-0
Lee Coville 10 0 0-1-0 4-2-0
Juma Tuerxun 11 0 0-2-0 20-8-1
Bekbulat Magomedov 12 0 0-2-0 19-3-0

Lightweight[edit]

FIGHTER RANKING POINTS PFL RECORD MMA RECORD NEXT FIGHT
Robert Watley 1 5 1-0-0 11-1-0 N/A
Brian Foster 2 4 1-0-0 28-10-0
Will Brooks 3 3 1-0-0 19-4-0
Natan Schulte 4 3 1-0-0 12-3-0
Islam Mamedov 5 3 1-0-0 15-1-10
Efrain Escudero 6 0 1-0-0 30-13-0
Luiz Firmino 7 0 0-1-0 20-9-0
Chris Wade 8 0 0-1-0 12-4-0
Jason High 9 0 0-1-0 21-7-0
Ramsey Nijem 10 0 0-1-0 9-7-09
Thiago Tavares 11 0 0-1-0 22-7-1
Yuki Kawana 12 0 0-1-0 14-2-5

Welterweight[edit]

FIGHTER RANKING POINTS PFL RECORD MMA RECORD NEXT FIGHT
João Zeferino 1 6 1-0-0 22-9-0 N/A
Magomed Kerimov 2 6 1-0-0 19-5-0
Pavlo Kusch 3 5 1-0-0 23-5-0
Ray Cooper III 4 5 2-0-0 15-5-0
Bojan Velickovic 5 5 1-0-0 16-6-1
Rick Story 6 3 1-0-0 20-9-0
Yuri Villefort 7 0 0-1-0 11-6-0
Jonatan Westin 8 0 0-1-0 10-3-0
Jake Shields 9 0 0-1-0 32-10-1
Abubakar

Nurmagomedov

10 0 0-1-0 14-2-0
Herman Terrado 11 0 0-1-0 15-4-1
Paul Bradley 12 0 0-1-0 23-9-0

Middleweight[edit]

FIGHTER RANKING POINTS PFL RECORD MMA RECORD NEXT FIGHT
Abus Magomedov 1 6 1-0-0 19-3-0 N/A
John Howard 2 5 1-0-0 26-13-0
Louis Taylor 3 4 1-0-0 15-4-0
Shamil Gamzatov 4 3 1-0-0 12-0-0
Bruno Santos 5 3 1-0-0 17-2-0
Rex Harris 6 3 1-0-0 11-3-0
Andre Lobato 7 0 0-1-0 24-8-0
Sadibou Sy 8 0 0-1-0 6-3-0
Eddie Gordon 9 0 0-1-0 8-5-0
Anderson Goncalves 10 0 0-1-0 11-2-0
Gasan Umalatov 11 0 0-1-0 17-5-2
Danillo Villefort 12 0 0-1-0 15-6-0

Light-Heavyweight[edit]

FIGHTER RANKING POINTS PFL RECORD MMA RECORD NEXT FIGHT
Vinny Magalhaes 1 6 1-0-0 15-9-0 N/A
Maxim Grishin 2 6 1-0-0 27-7-0
Sean O'Conell 3 5 1-0-0 18-9-0
Brandon Halsey 4 4 1-0-0 11-3-0
Rakim Cleveland 5 4 1-0-0 19-9-1
Dan Spohn 6 4 1-0-0 17-5-0
Bozigit Ataev 7 0 0-1-0 17-2-0
Rashid Yusupov 8 0 0-1-0 9-2-0
Smealinho Rama 9 0 0-1-0 10-4-0
Ronny Markes 10 0 0-1-0 18-6-0
Jason Butcher 11 0 0-1-0 11-3-0
Jamie Abdallah 12 0 0-1-0 8-3-0

Heavyweight[edit]

FIGHTER RANKING POINTS PFL RECORD MMA RECORD NEXT FIGHT
Francimar Barroso 1 12 2-0-0 21-7-0 N/A
Kelvin Tiller 2 11 2-0-0 10-1-0
Philipe Lins 3 8 2-0-0 11-3-0
Jack May 4 6 1-1-0 10-4-0
Alex Nicholson 5 5 1-1-0 12-6-0
Valdrin Istrefi 6 5 1-1-0 13-2-0
Jared Rosholt 7 3 1-1-0 16-5-0
Josh Copeland 8 3 1-1-0 17-5-0
Jake Heun 9 0 0-1-0 11-7-0
Caio Alencar 10 0 0-1-0 11-3-0
Shawn Jordan 11 0 0-1-0 19-9-0
Daniel Gallemore 12 0 0-2-0 7-6-0

Records[edit]

Record Fighter Number
Youngest champion Justin Gaethje 25 years, 65 days
Oldest champion Jon Fitch 38 years, 40 days
Most finishes Justin Gaethje 9
Most knockouts Justin Gaethje 9
Most submissions David Branch 4
Most decision wins Jon Fitch
David Branch
5
Most bouts Marlon Moraes 11
Most wins in title bouts Justin Gaethje
Marlon Moraes
6
Most title bouts Justin Gaethje
Marlon Moraes
6
Most consecutive title defenses Justin Gaethje
Marlon Moraes
5
Longest winning streak Marlon Moraes 11
Fastest knockout Ray Cooper III 0:18
Fastest submission Louis Taylor 0:29

Final WSOF champions[edit]

Division Upper weight limit Champion Since Title Defenses
Heavyweight 265 lb
(120 kg; 18.9 st)
Vacant WSOF 21
June 5, 2015
Light Heavyweight 205 lb
(93 kg; 14.6 st)
Vacant
February 6, 2017
Middleweight 185 lb
(84 kg; 13.2 st)
Vacant
February 6, 2017
Welterweight 170 lb
(77 kg; 12 st)
Vacant
March 1, 2018
Lightweight 155 lb
(70 kg; 11.1 st)
Vacant
April 27, 2017
Featherweight 145 lb
(66 kg; 10.4 st)
Andre Harrison WSOF 35
March 18, 2017
1
Bantamweight 135 lb
(61 kg; 9.6 st)
Bekbulat Magomedov WSOF 35
March 18, 2017
0
Flyweight 125 lb
(56.7 kg; 8.9 st)
Vacant
January 5, 2017

References[edit]

  1. ^ "MMA Fighting: PFL signs distribution deal with NBC Sports, Facebook". mmafighting.com. January 29, 2018.
  2. ^ "USA Today: MMA promoter ranks grow by one: Miguel Torres in WSOF 1 headliner". mmajunkie.com. September 6, 2012. Archived from the original on January 28, 2013.
  3. ^ "Variety: MMA Upstart Professional Fighters League Hires Fox Sports Veteran George Greenberg (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety.com. July 12, 2017.
  4. ^ Ramos, Dino-Ray (2018-03-29). "Professional Fighters League To Partner With MGM Television Group For New Programming". Deadline. Retrieved 2018-06-19.
  5. ^ Mazique, Brian. "How The PFL Plans To Change The Way Fans, Fighters And Sponsors See MMA". Forbes. Retrieved 2018-06-19.
  6. ^ "TNA contract nixes Kurt Angle commentator job at World Series of Figh…". archive.is. 2013-01-29. Retrieved 2018-06-19.
  7. ^ "WSOF becomes Professional Fighters League; Inaugural season set to kick off next year". MMA Fighting. Retrieved 2018-06-19.
  8. ^ "BEST MMA FIGHTS | United States | WSOF Global". BEST MMA FIGHTS | United States | WSOF Global. Retrieved 2018-06-19.
  9. ^ SEC Form D - MMAX Investment Partners, Inc
  10. ^ Mazique, Brian. "Professional Fighters League's MMA Format, Roster, Schedule And Free-TV Model Revealed". Forbes. Retrieved 2018-06-19.
  11. ^ "PFL Rules and Regulations" (PDF). PFL MMA.
  12. ^ "A look at how the PFL's points system works". Newsday. Retrieved 2018-06-19.
  13. ^ Mazique, Brian. "Professional Fighters League's MMA Format, Roster, Schedule And Free-TV Model Revealed". Forbes. Retrieved 2018-06-19.
  14. ^ "PFL roster, event schedule released for 2018 championship season". MMAmania.com. Retrieved 2018-06-19.
  15. ^ "PFL roster revealed: Six of these 72 fighters will be millionaires by year's end". MMAjunkie. 2018-04-16. Retrieved 2018-06-19.
  16. ^ "Professional Fighters League Reaches Exclusive Multi-Platform Distribution Agreements with NBC Sports Group and Facebook". Retrieved 2018-06-19.
  17. ^ "PFL announces 2018 events and broadcast deal with NBC Sports Group and Facebook". mmajunkie.com. January 29, 2018.
  18. ^ Ramos, Dino-Ray (2018-05-01). "Professional Fighters League Sets Broadcast Team For Inaugural Season". Deadline. Retrieved 2018-06-19.
  19. ^ "PFL 2: Full results, standings and highlights | BJPenn.com". | BJPenn.com. 2018-06-22. Retrieved 2018-06-26.
  20. ^ "PFL 1 results, standings and highlights | BJPenn.com". | BJPenn.com. 2018-06-08. Retrieved 2018-06-26.
  21. ^ "Standings". Professional Fighters League. Retrieved 2018-06-26.
  22. ^ "PFL 3 full results, highlights and standings: Jake Shields gets face-planted in main event | BJPenn.com". | BJPenn.com. 2018-07-06. Retrieved 2018-07-09.

External links[edit]