Every mix martial artist wishes to compete in the Ultimate Fighting Championship or as the UFC is the biggest MMA promotion around the globe in term of roster, prestige, remuneration, visibility, etc. Therefore, when Dana White announced a cut in the roster a couple of week ago, every fighter commenced to be worried about their future expect for one who just decided to leave on his own.
We are talking about former UFC, WEC, and GFS lightweight champion Anthony Pettis (24-10-0) who just won a bout against Alex Morono (18-7-0, 1 NC) at recent UFC Fight Night and right after a couple of days announced that he is parting ways with the UFC. Anthony Pettis, 33-year-old, has served UFC for 12 long years and his sudden announcement has left everyone stunned. Pettis wants to test the free agency and has signed a deal with the Professional Fighter League (PFL) where he aims to compete in the lightweight division.
PFL is making progress by leaps and bounds and it is a fast-growing MMA promotion having signed few big names like the former UFC welterweight title contender Rory McDonalds (21-6-1), former UFC heavyweight champion Fabricio Werdum (24-9-1), and American Boxing star Claressa Shields who will join the PFL roster for the new season. All these former UFC stars can make a good amount of money by competing in a league where they can easily defeat anyone increasing their earnings from the sponsorship deals.
The PFL has a very weird format for being a promotion in a combat sport. Unlike boxing or UFC, the PFL adopted a league format like NBA or NHL. Whoever wins his championship (which obviously are divided into weight classes) receive a payment in excess of USD 1 million. As far as we know, this is the only promotion in combat sports which had decided to adopt this format which usually works for teams but rarely with individual sports. It will be interesting, however, to follow this ongoing experiment to see what the plan of PFL is in 2021 after signing few UFC stars and how the promotion will try to attract market shares.