Next month was supposed to be the start of the third season of the Professional Fighters League, but that won’t be happening anymore.
That’s because Brett Okamoto of ESPN first reported that the PFL has suspended season three due to the coronavirus, with season three now set to take place in 2021. Okamoto also reports that all contracted fighters are going to receive a monthly stipend from the promotion, although the exact amount of that stipend isn’t known at this time.
The promotion also issued the following press release on the situation:
PROFESSIONAL FIGHTERS LEAGUE RESCHEDULES 2020 SEASON TO 2021 DUE TO ONGOING COVID-19 PANDEMIC
PFL’s Next Season on ESPN Will Start in Spring 2021
For 2020, PFL to Create New Original Programming for Distribution Across ESPN Platforms
PFL will Support its MMA Fighters with Monthly Cash Stipend
NEW YORK (April 20, 2020): The Professional Fighters League (PFL), the first and only organization to present MMA in the sport-season format where individual fighters compete in a Regular Season, Playoffs, and Championship, announced today several items.
Firstly, its upcoming 2020 season has been rescheduled to Spring 2021 due to the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic. The PFL 2021 Season will again be distributed on ESPN platforms in the U.S. and to 160 countries by the league’s international media partners.
Additionally, PFL announced that for 2020 it is creating new original programming for distribution across ESPN platforms and PFL channels.
Finally, PFL announced it will pay its league fighters a monthly cash stipend to help support them and their families throughout 2020.
For MMA fans, the PFL 2019 Season produced numerous compelling fights and stories. Standouts include the historic Women’s Lightweight Championship victory by two-time Olympic Gold Medalist, Kayla Harrison; a back-to-back Championship win by top-10 ranked Featherweight, Lance Palmer; and the redemption journey of the hard-hitting Hawaiian, Ray Cooper III, who earned the PFL Welterweight Championship Belt.
Statement from Professional Fighters League CEO, Peter Murray:
“In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Professional Fighters League has rescheduled our upcoming 2020 season for Spring 2021. PFL is a global MMA league with athletes from over 25 countries, and our decision is guided by the health and safety of our fighters, fans, partners, and event personnel.
The PFL mission is to evolve and grow the sport of MMA, and we look forward to staging our unique sport-season format with Regular Season, Playoff and Championship events on ESPN platforms next year. PFL has always been focused on delivering the best made-for-TV MMA product and we will continue to deliver the most innovative fight experience going forward. Fans can also look forward to PFL elevating our roster with new championship caliber fighter signings such as Rory MacDonald.
For the remainder of 2020, the PFL will support our fighters with a monthly cash stipend to help provide some relief during these challenging times. In addition, for sports fans who we know are looking for compelling content, the PFL will deliver new original programming across ESPN and PFL platforms.
PFL will continue to be an innovator in the world of sports.
Our thoughts are with all those impacted by the COVID-19 coronavirus.”