The second season of the PFL concluded on New Years Eve 2019, with six fighters walking away with $1 million each.
PFL CEO Peter Murray credits ESPN and technological advancements as to why the PFL had an improved 2019.
“I’m extremely happy with the momentum that we have in Year 2,” Murray told Sherdog. “Last year we launched the league, validated the format. In Year 2, we really focused on premium distribution and reach. You see that with our partnership with ESPN as well as expanded distribution outside the U.S. with top media companies in key regions and countries. The second piece I’m excited about in Year 2 is refinement of the product and technology,” Murray added. “With respect to that we’re the first ever to, under our SmartCage platform, launch athlete measurement data and analytics, real time and integrate into the broadcast measuring strike speed on every fighter and every fight. Other tracking analytics that get integrated into the live telecast. That’s game changing for combat and MMA and more to come next year.”
A third season is expected to take place later this year, with former Bellator Welterweight Champion Rory MacDonald, UFC veteran Johnny Case and Brendan Loughnane attempting to claim their share of $6 million.
Some have criticized the PFL in the past for their seasonal format, but Murray says that format has lead to the promotion building new stars.
“We do have the ability to develop these fighters as they compete and win and show what they’re all about as we market the league and get behind each fighter’s individual journey,” he said. “We believe the format is built to create stars.”
There is no word yet on when the third season will begin, but the promotion is expected to cut at least 50% of the roster before season three kicks off.