The World Series of Fighting (WSOF) mixed martial arts promotion has been rebranded as the Professional Fighters League (PFL) and will begin staging events under its new guise from January 2018.
The PFL is co-founded by Donn Davis, Russ Ramsey, and Mark Leschly. The Professional Fighters League purchased the fighting operations and event infrastructure of the WSOF for a reported $25m (€23.5m) in January.
The new league will debut next year and feature a prize pool of $10m across seven weight classes.
The PFL will be open to all professional MMA fighters worldwide, with participants to compete in one of the seven weight classes and compete in regularly scheduled fights over the course of a season.
Fighters with the best records at the end of the season will advance to a ‘win or go home’ post-season play-off tournament. Each tournament winner in the seven weight classes will be named the PFL season champion and collect a $1m cash prize, with an additional $3m to be shared between other regular-season and play-off competitors.
Ramsey, executive chairman of the PFL, said: “The Professional Fighters League brings a proven sports format that fans love and athletes respect to MMA for the first time. Featuring a regular season, post-season, and championship structure, the launch of the Professional Fighters League continues the evolution of MMA into a professional, mass-market, prime-time sport for a global audience.”
The PFL said it will also seek to deliver a more accessible and innovative experience in an attempt to engage new and current fans of MMA.
Carlos Silva, president of event production and business operations at the PFL, added: “Our experience and product – in the arena, on TV, and through digital – will connect MMA fans to our fighters and the sport they love in unique and innovative ways. Over the coming months we’ll be announcing more details on how we’re transforming the MMA experience for fighters and fans.”
The PFL claims to have over 100 professional MMA fighters under contract.