The combat sports landscape is about to get a whole lot bigger — or a lot more cluttered, depending on how you look at it — when a new mixed martial arts (MMA) league makes its 2023 debut, featuring revenue sharing, health insurance, and even a pension, for those fighters who don’t feel like waiting around for the MMAAA lawsuit.
PFL investors are probably mad as hell right now.
“According to sources, a number of influential industry individuals have come together to create a new MMA league that is structured more like the NBA/NHL/NFL rather than your typical MMA promotion,” longtime MMA reporter Ariel Helwani wrote on his website. “This new league would also include an athlete association that implements a [collective bargaining agreement] with 50/50 revenue share, guaranteed contracts, health insurance, career-ending insurance and a pension plan. The plan is to announce the venture in the coming days, I’m told. They are hoping to launch in 2023.”
Anyone else feeling nostalgic for IFL?
In order for any business to work, it requires a product worth paying for. Regardless of format or forward-looking promises, this new league will need several (costly) years to build a respectable roster while facing stiff competition from established players like UFC.
Just ask Gary Shaw, Tom Atencio, Gareb Shamus, and Reed Harris, among many others.