The Professional Fighters League announced on February 18, 2021 the completion of a $65 million financing round, bringing total funding of the company to $175 million. The new investment capital raised in this round from leading firms will accelerate the mixed martial arts promotion’s momentum, innovation and growth as it builds off its strong foundation as the number 2 MMA company worldwide.
The $65 million institutional financing round was led by Ares Capital, Elysian Park Ventures and Knighthead Capital. The PFL is home to one of the best investor groups in sports, consisting of two dozen media, sports and business leaders and influencers, including Ted Leonsis, Brandon Beck, Mark D. Lerner, Mark Burnett and Debra Cafaro.
Founded in 2017, the PFL is the leading innovator in MMA for the benefit of fans and fighters. Its chairman and co-founder Donn Davis said, “PFL is the disruptive company in the massive and underserved MMA market and this new capital will fuel our aggressive growth from the number 2 worldwide market position the company has quickly secured.”
The PFL’s sport-season format brings transparency and meritocracy to MMA as individual fighters compete in a regular season, playoffs and championship. The league’s on-screen product uniquely engages fans with real-time fighter data such as punch impact and kick-speed via its proprietary SmartCage technology.
The PFL fighter roster is world-class with 25 percent of its fighters ranked in the top 25 of their weight class. It is stocked with must-see fighters, including returning champions Kayla Harrison, Lance Palmer and Ray Cooper III as well as new stars including former UFC champions Anthony Pettis and Fabricio Werdum alongside former Bellator champion Rory MacDonald.
“PFL provides the 450 million worldwide MMA fans the excitement and transparency of the sport season format just like other major sports,” PFL chief executive officer Peter Murray said. “In the PFL, fans follow individual fighter win-and-advance journeys throughout the regular season, playoffs and championship.”
“There is no undercard in the PFL,” Murray continued. “Every fight matters.”
PFL events are broadcast live in primetime on ESPN2 and ESPN+ in the United States and distributed to 160 countries around the world on premium sports networks. Its 2021 regular season begins on April 23, 2021 with subsequent regular events taking place on April 29, 2021, on May 6, 2021, on June 10, 2021, on June 17, 2021 and on June 25, 2021.