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PFL announces new PPV series will split half of event revenue with fighters

PFL (Cooper Neill)

The Professional Fighter’s League (PFL) intends to further give back to its athletes starting in 2023.

With the promotion’s seasonal tournament format remaining at the core, next year will see pay-per-view (PPV) events introduced into the fold. Speaking with MMAMania.com in March 2022, PFL Founder Donn Davis revealed that the upcoming PPV series will take place every quarter with four events a year. Two-time Lightweight champion Kayla Harrison is officially the first fighter to be signed for the series and this current season will be her last.

However, Davis shared today (Thurs., May 19, 2022) some more details surrounding the additional product they’ll be offering. Instead of the anticipated four events, there will now only be two, along with some unprecedented benefits.

“A lot of the capital from this new round is gonna go toward: we’re open for business for top fighters,” Davis told Spinnin Backfist. “We disrupted — call it the media business — with the league format. We have as good a product on TV — not pay-per-view — as UFC or anybody. But until today, we’ve never been in the pay-per-view business. So if you’re a pay-per-view fighter, Conor McGregor, you’re [Kamaru] Usman, Jon Jones, you’re people who — Kayla Harrison next year — you’re so good, you’re top two, three, four in your weight class, your economics demand you fight on pay-per-view. Until today, we’ve never been in that business. We’ve only been in the media business so far.

“Starting in 2023, outside of the league format, we’re going to put on two super fights,” he continued. “As of today, we’re open for business. But we’re going to do two things different. Just as we disrupted before, fighters will be true economic partners in their fights. 50/50 for pay-per-view shares. They will share 50 percent of the revenue of their pay-per-view fights. Never happened in the history of MMA, No. 1. And No. 2, until now in pay-per-view it’s been a one-company town. It’s now a two company town. If you’re a fighter, you have choice. When you have choice, you have opportunity. Before, the only company that put on successful pay-per-views were UFC and they’re great at it. Starting in 2023, there’s a second company.”

Historically, the PFL doing PPV events doesn’t make them the second promotion to ever do such a thing as promotions like Bellator, Invicta Fighting Championship, RIZIN, ONE Championship, PRIDE Fighting Championship, World Extreme Cagefighting (WEC), Konfrontacja Sztuk Walki (KSW), Golden Boy MMA, and countless others have done it before them. ... The point is; it won’t be new, but what would be is if the PFL can make it a consistency when a majority of others have not.

When it comes to who and how many fighters will get to take home the shared revenue, Davis highlighted the “top two” fighters on the card. It wasn’t clarified as to whether or not that means the two biggest names or the two fighters in the main event.

The 2022 PFL season is currently underway and most recently wrapped up the first three shows of the year as the next set of three are set to start in mid-June in Atlanta, Georgia. As per usual, winners of each division’s tournaments earn $1 million.