World Fighting League (WFL), the new league-based mixed martial arts (MMA) promotion debuting in 2023, now has an official website with a “coming soon” tease to help get combat sports fans talking about the future of fighting.
With UFC, Bellator MMA, PFL, Combate Americas, and ONE Championship all battling for global domination (and decent ratings), I’m not sure the industry can support another full-time promotion with a thinned-out talent pool.
But I’ll root for any organization that gives “broke” fighters a place to compete.
“The group is made up of several former and current professional athletes from the world of NFL, NBA and MMA, including multiple MMA world champions, five former respected MMA promoters, former MMA executives and matchmakers, actors and recording artists,” longtime MMA reporter Ariel Helwani wrote on his substack.
WFL is hoping to lure top talent with revenue sharing, health insurance, and pensions, among other perks not typically found in current MMA promotions. That said, franchise owners won’t be able to move forward until a fighter union is established.
“Any approved franchise owner has signed agreements that enforces certain terms and conditions they must abide by,” Helwani continued. “Some of these provisions are put into place so they will not be able to take more than a 50 percent revenue share. Additionally, per sources, they must provide specific levels of health insurance, career-ending insurance, and pension plan for their athletes. When the union is established, the plan is for athletes and owners to finalize negotiations and agreements.”
Six franchise owners have already put pen to paper.
WFL will feature four conferences, represented by North America (1), South America (2), Europe and Africa (3), and Asia and Oceana (4). Team rosters are comprised of 24 athletes with three fighters per weight-class, though each conference must have a minimum of eight teams and no more than 24.
Expect more details on WFL in the coming weeks.