While attempting to hold on as long as they could, the Professional Fighters League could not avoid the inevitable.
In a release, it was announced that the PFL has cancelled its 2020 season, the third of its existence. Due to the coronavirus outbreak, competition will now begin in Spring 2021. Additionally, all fighters meant to compete will receive a monthly cash stipend to support them and family members.
“In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Professional Fighters League has rescheduled our upcoming 2020 season for Spring 2021,” PFL CEO Peter Murray stated. 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.”
Originally, the PFL delayed the start of the third season, normally set for May. With the coronavirus situation forcing the promotions hand, it had no choice but to halt all major activity. In the interim, the PFL will create “new original programming” that will be aired on social channels and ESPN. One of the top pieces of content the promotion currently produces is the “Run It Back” throwback series.
“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,” Murray went on to say.
Following a successful second season in which Kayla Harrison became the first women’s Lightweight Champion, the promotion was working on updating its roster. The PFL just signed a number of fighters, including Tom Lawlor, Olivier Aubin-Mercier and Rory MacDonald, among others. It also introduced a new international recruitment plan, with fighters all over the world competing for a contract.
The PFL’s season normally ends on New Year’s Eve in New York City, with the winner receiving a title and $1 million.