Sefo Reflects On PFL’s Canceled 2020 Season
From World Series of Fighting to the Professional Fighters League, Ray Sefo has been about collaborating with the best competitors out there. He also is looking out for the safety of the fighters the organization holds.
Sefo spoke to MMA Junkie about the PFL’s 2020 season getting canceled. The PFL was one of the first major MMA organizations to scrap plans altogether for the year as a result of the coronavirus. The new season was initially delayed before the official decision was made. While Sefo and PFL CEO Peter Murray had a tough choice to make, they thought it was in the best interest of their fighters and employees.
“The decision was a difficult one because there’s so many fighters of course,” Sefo stated. “But when we looked at this world crisis and where it was heading, it just wasn’t safe for our fighters to even get ready and at that point when we made the decision, there was just so many people getting affected and people dying left, right and center which was pretty sad.”
Following the cancellation of the third season, the PFL announced that fighters would receive a monthly cash stipend to support them and family members. The organization also announced it will be cutting several fighters from its roster. Fighters who were guaranteed to return were its six champions from the 2019 finals. Other fighters that appear to be safe include recent signees Tom Lawlor, Olivier Aubin-Mercier and Rory MacDonald, among others.
The 2020 season was supposed to begin in May. From there, the tournament-style format began. Competition would go on until the playoffs come September and October. The finals would have been on New Year’s Eve in New York City. Due to the time it takes to get everything in order, Sefo realized that months of planning might have been thrown out the window due to the unknown of the situation surrounding the virus.
“The fighters, they gotta fight five times to get to the finals but also, the season takes like eight to nine months to complete so we just knew time-frame wise, the safety of our athletes and of course fans and everybody else involved, it was just the best thing to do,” Sefo went on to say.