The MMA startup Professional Fighters League has reportedly secured a $28 million equity investment from a group that includes Kevin Hart, MGM television’s Mark Burnett and self-help coach Tony Robbins, according to Variety. The PFL, based in Washington D.C., is in its first year of business.
Variety reports that the PFL’s ultimate goal is to compete against Dana White’s UFC, in addition to bringing a March Madness-style, single-elimination tournament to the world of mixed martial arts. Per Variety, “Burnett, the renowned reality TV producers, aims to develop a range of programming around PFL, starting with a “Challengers Series” that would be an elimination-style competition among aspiring MMA pugilists for the chance to join the league. MGM is also an investor in PFL.”
According to the Washington Post, the PFL is made up of 72 fighters divided into six weight classes, and its format consists of a regular season, playoffs and a season-ending championship on New Year’s Eve, resulting in 11 total events and 126 fights. The six weight-class champions will each receive $1 million, while runners-up get $200,000. Semifinalists and quarterfinalists will also earn $100,000 and $50,000, respectively.
The regular season fights are three rounds, with three points awarded for a win and one for a draw. Additional points will also be awards for stoppages, and the top eight in points from each weight class will advance to the playoffs. In the win-or-go-home playoffs, the first fight will consist of two rounds, the second will have three, and the championship fight will be a five-round bout.