It appears only a select few members of the Professional Fighters League will receive a monthly stipend following the suspended 2020 season due to the coronavirus.
According to FanSided, the PFL will be cutting a significant portion of its roster. The stipend would be a result of a bonus to those that will be staying around. As to who will be involved in the roster cuts, names haven’t been announced. In fact, several fighters found out about the news as the article from FanSided came out.
“Although we are rescheduling our 2020 season, we have fighters across six weight classes… We’re keeping the significant majority, over two-thirds,” PFL CEO Pete Murray stated.
“We haven’t announced those fighters, so we’re not at liberty to share all those details. But the Coronavirus had an impact on businesses in all industries including sports and we’ve had to make some difficult decisions during a very difficult time.”
The only fighters guaranteed to have a home with the PFL it appears are the 2019 champions. A few months ago, the organization announced that all six champions would be returning.
Following season two coming to a close, the PFL signed a significant amount of new fighters: Tom Lawlor, Olivier Aubin-Mercier and Rory MacDonald, among others. The PFL was also focusing on a new international recruitment plan, with fighters all over the world competing for a contract. It is unknown if those same international fighters will be making the cut or not.
MMA Fighting was able to intercept two separate emails sent by PFL President Ray Sefo. One email went to the fighters that would get the stipend. The other one, shown below, indicates the termination of several fighters:
“We therefore are providing this notice pursuant to Section 17.3 and/or 17.4 of your Exclusive Promotional Fight Agreement with the PFL that your agreement is terminated and you are formally released to compete elsewhere effective immediately.
“We hope that you and your family remain safe and healthy and wish you the best of luck.”
All moves were made with the help of ESPN, per Sefo’s email. Factors included “safeguarding the health of the fighters, fans, partners and event personnel” to preserve the integrity of the PFL. Fighters that were let go will be able to be signed to other promotions.
The PFL is expected to hold its third season in 2021. The season normally ends on New Year’s Eve in New York City, with the winner receiving a title and $1 million.