Professional Fighters League and ESPN have released details about the 2021 regular season of the league. The upcoming PFL season will start in April 2020.
“We’re thrilled to announce an early start date for the 2021 PFL Season and we look forward to building on the positive momentum experienced in a historic first season on ESPN,” PFL chief executive officer Peter Murray stated. “In 2021, the PFL will deliver an elevated, immersive and interactive fan viewing experience incorporating expanded, real-time fighter data and analytics from our proprietary SmartCage technology, behind-the-scenes access, the return of ref cam and more. Our champions return looking to earn another title while a fresh crop of exciting new fighters will challenge for the top spot in MMA.”
“Additional contenders will be unveiled in the leadup to what we believe will be the biggest season in PFL history,” Murray continued. Here are the dates of the first six 2021 PFL season events, which will be broadcast on ESPN2:
- April 23, 2020
- April 29, 2020
- May 6, 2020
- June 10, 2020
- June 17, 2020
- June 25, 2020
The first three events of the 2021 PFL season will be each fighter’s first chance to accumulate points toward a possible Playoff berth while the second half will determine Playoff seeding, Championship title bragging rights and a million-dollar prize. Dates for the Playoffs and PFL Championship will be announced at a later date.
Among the returning champions featured in the 2021 PFL season are two-time Olympic Judo gold medalist Kayla Harrison, 30, of New York, USA and PFL Welterweight Champion Ray “Bradda Boy” Cooper III, 27, of Hawaii, USA. There are also exciting new contenders such as mixed martial arts superstars Rory “Red King” MacDonald, 31, and “The Canadian Gangster” Olivier Aubin-Mercier, 31, of Quebec, Canada, lightweights Johnny “Hollywood” Case, 31, of Arizona, USA and reigning Brave Combat Federation Featherweight Champion Bubba “Bad Man” Jenkins, 31, of California, USA.
With distribution on ESPN in the United States and to more than 160 countries via premium sports networks and platforms, the PFL has quickly established itself as the number two MMA company in the world. The league has experienced tremendous YoY growth across digital channels with 68 percent follower increase on Instagram, 30 percent total audience growth across digital and a 200 percent social engagement spike, according to Sprout and CrowdTangle.
In 2019, domestic linear viewing audience was up 50 percent, according to Nielsen. The Championship on New Year’s Eve averaged 400,000 viewers with a peak of over 500,000, a 96 percent YoY increase, according to Optimum Sports.