After a successful first regular season, The Professional Fighters League is set to embark on “The Road to the Championship” with three October playoff events. The second event will be held at the Long Beach Arena and will feature a 14-bout card made up of top-qualifiers from each of the light heavy and lightweight divisions. At the end of the evening two fighters from each weight class will have punched their ticket to the 2018 PFL Championship event and will have a chance to cash in their share of the $10 million prize pool.
For the uninitiated, the PFL is the first global MMA league where fighters compete individually. The new organization, in their first full season, has made a splash with their innovative format that has incentivize fighters to try to finish their bouts. You see, during the regular season fighters are awarded points based on stopping their opponents. The earlier the fight ends the more points are earned. This has led to a nearly 70 percent finishing rate in the PFL this year.
The exciting brand of MMA has not gone unnoticed with the sport’s hardcore fan base.
“We knew this would be a heavy lift but we really believed in the format,” said PFL League President Carlos Silva. “The MMA world has been so supportive of what we are doing and we feel they, along with our tremendous fighters, have validated our real sport structure.”
The Long Beach show will feature light heavyweight and lightweight fighters. There will be 14 bouts on the card, seven in each weight-class. The bracketed playoff will include four two-round quarterfinal fights in each division with the winners moving on to two three-round semifinal fights. There will also be an alternate scrap between two alternate fighters with the winner being a backup in case of a quarterfinal injury.
Top fighters scheduled to compete in Long Beach include lightweight Will Brooks, light heavyweight top-seed Vinny Magalhaes, Chris Wade and PFL broadcaster/fighter Sean O’Connell.
And the fighters seem to like the way things have played out as well. In a sport where the stars are often made outside the cage, with in-cage performance being an afterthought, the PFL has put an emphasis on winning being the determining factor in how fighters earn title shots. If you win in the PFL you keep going and if you win all your playoff fights you are the season champion and become an instant millionaire.
“Winning is the most important thing in sports,” said Brooks. “I love the fact that if I go out and beat everyone that is put in front of me I get to put the belt around my waist and cash that big check.”
With so much on the line, the PFL title, the $10 million prize pool and the personal satisfaction that comes with being crowned champion, the PFL Playoffs are sure do deliver more of the great action we’ve already seen.
“Our fighters have brought it all year long and I’m not expecting anything different for the Playoffs,” said Ray Sefo, PFL President of Fighter Operations. “The prestige of winning the PFL title and the huge payday are great but these guys are competitors at heart and will continue to give it their all like they have throughout the season.”
It truly does seem to be history in the making as the PFL brings their new brand of MMA to Long Beach on October 13.
Doors will open at 3 p.m. with the first fight beginning at 3:30 p.m.
Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased at the Long Beach Arena box office, TicketMaster.com or PFLmma.com.