Jake Shields is one of a host of fighters competing for the $1 million prize in the first season of the Professional Fighters League.
A total of $10 million will be given away among the fighters competing in the six different weight classes, which shouldn’t be a problem according to Shields because the promotion has some big backers.
“I was very frustrated,” Shields said on The MMA Hour. “Fortunately I had some money put away, I’ve invested, so that’s not really an issue on the financial situation. But I was supposed to fight in January and they moved it back. I was really frustrated at the time, then a couple months ago, I became a free agent. Then PFL was coming back together and I’m like, alright, it looks like it’s really going to happen. We just had some meetings last week. The show seems, they treated us really good and seemed enthusiastic. It’s most of the same people from the World Series of Fighting. They definitely rebranded, have more money, they’re pushing it a lot more. They have $15 million in payoffs, that’s not bad. Especially since a lot of these are guys weren’t getting paid good. It’s exciting to have a new show that has some serious money. I think there’s legitimate big-money backers. They’ve got $30 million in the first season with production, advertising, fighters’ pay, and I’m pretty sure they’re already planning out the second season. Regardless of if the first first season does good or not, they’re already planning the second season. They’re throwing money around at this point.”
The six fighters who come out on top of each weight class will win $1 million each, while the remaining $4 million will get split among the rest of the competitors.
Shields plans on taking home the million dollars, which may lead him to calling it a career when its all over.
“I probably thought I was going to retire at 35, but, originally when I started, I didn’t really know, I didn’t think I was going to make a career out of it, but it’s turned into a career,” Shields said. “At this point I take it one fight at a time, my body feels good, I still enjoy the sport, I just took a year off and got to do some grappling. So at this point I’m just trying to get through the tournament. ... If I win the tournament, it might be a good time to step away and call it, but I’m still not going to make any promises, because you know how that goes as well.”
PFL 3 takes place on Thursday, July 5 from the GWU Smith Center in Washington DC with Jake Shields and Ray Cooper III headlining. Fightful is providing live coverage of the event, which airs live on the NBC Sports Network.