PFL CEO Peter Murray hopes the promotion’s unique league concept and focus on technology can make it a co-leader in MMA.
Never before had a league format been implemented in MMA until PFL introduced the concept in its inaugural season four years ago.
Promotion CEO Peter Murray believes the format has brought an unprecedented product to the sport that has captivated fight fans around the world. Leagues are used in most of the biggest sports in the world, but the violence of the fights has prevented promotions from using them.
“Our vision was to reinvent and grow the sport by launching an innovative and differentiated MMA product,” Murray said. Battle Mirror . “We felt the format for the season frankly suited both the fighters and the fans. It’s a proven format, the fans have the opportunity to really follow the fighters’ journeys through a rigorous and grueling format that is unique in MMA.
The fighters face off four times in seven months to try to reach the knockout stages and clinch each season’s illustrious $1 million prize. Points are scored for a win with bonus points awarded for finishes as the top four fighters in each division all advance to the playoffs.
“We think the league format is much more compelling,” Murray said. “In other promotions, events are ad hoc and not transparent to fighters or fans. In the PFL, every fight matters in our format. It’s a tried and true format, the fights are exciting and there’s a system in place.”
The promotion has taken strict measures to try to ensure fighters can stick to the intense schedule by banning elbow strikes in hopes of reducing lacerations. Matchmakers also try to ensure fighters have at least 45 days between seasonal fights.
PFL also aimed to revolutionize the sport through technology, as they are the only promotion to introduce GhostCam, a system that allows viewers to watch fights horizontally rather than above the cage. Fans can also see entire fights through the referee’s perspective with RefereeCam.
“Technology is at the heart of everything the PFL does to present the action,” he added. “It’s with our Smart Cage technology, but when it comes to camera technology, we’re always looking for additional opportunities to give fans access to the action.
Murray feels that MMA fans are underserved and wants to offer a different product to the viewer in the league format. The PFL has big goals for the next five years and hopes to hold several pay-per-view superfights next year with “needle mover” athletes.
In a market largely dominated by the UFC, the promotion’s goal is to become a co-leader in MMA, which Murray is confident they can do with their different approach.
“It’s a growing sport, so we thought we had the right time. We have 600 million fans and we’re growing, 80% outside the United States. That fanbase is the youngest of all. big kinds, it’s the third-largest fanbase behind football and basketball,” Murray continued.
“They’re an underserved fan. They want access to more premium events every year and we pride ourselves on achieving that in a different version of the sport on different nights of the week, than some of our main competitors. We have a market number two position, but we are focused on becoming a co-leader in the sport.”