WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Professional Fighters League (PFL) announced it has closed $28 million Series B equity investment from a group of sports, entertainment, and business titans, including Kevin Hart, actor, comedian, and entrepreneur; Mark Burnett, Chairman Worldwide Television Group MGM, unscripted TV pioneer, and producer; Tony Robbins, legendary speaker, author, entrepreneur, and life-strategist; and Ted Leonsis, majority owner of NHL 2018 Stanley Cup Champion Washington Capitals and NBA Washington Wizards, as well as a sports-tech visionary.
Additional investors in this PFL Series B round include: Elysian Park Ventures; SWaN Ventures; Debra Cafaro, Chairman/CEO, Ventas Inc. and Minority Owner of the Pittsburgh Penguins (NHL); Mark Leschly, Managing Partner, Iconica Ventures; and Brandon Beck, co-founder of Riot Games and co-creator of League of Legends.
The Professional Fighters League is the first ever to bring the fan-friendly sports calendar format to mixed martial arts (MMA), where individual fighters compete in a regular season, single-elimination playoff, and season-ending championship. This same format has ignited audiences, built media value, and delivered for sponsors in major sports leagues such as the NFL, NBA, MLB & NHL.
“I once said ‘If you get kicked in the face you deserve it, since you saw the foot coming’ … that was before I became an investor in the Professional Fighters League!” said Kevin Hart, PFL Investor. “I love sports, and the PFL is my favorite new sport to watch. The PFL fights are the most exciting in MMA as every fight means something, with fighters working to win a spot in the playoffs and the opportunity at their share of the $10 million. I became an investor as I believe the PFL is the future of MMA.”
“I invested because I am certain that the next evolution of MMA is this Professional Fighters League,” added Mark Burnett, PFL investor. “The fighters must win to move ahead. It’s MMA meets March Madness.”
“PFL empowers fighters to control their own destiny, which is new for MMA,” said Tony Robbins PFL investor. “PFL is a meritocracy, giving all fighters an equal fair shot, which is what life and sports is all about.”
PFL 2018 Season has 72 Elite MMA fighters in 6 weight-classes. Each fighter competes in two fights in the PFL Regular Season on Thursday nights in June, July, and August. The top 8 fighters in each weight-class based on results advance to the single-elimination PFL Playoffs in October. The PFL Championship is New Year’s Eve, which will be the most dynamic night in MMA history, with six back-to-back title bouts and history-making $10 million total prize pool.
The PFL 2018 Season is underway and the differentiated format and innovative scoring have already caught the attention of die-hard fans as well as those new to MMA. The PFL season format is providing fans with authentic, interesting stories as they follow the journey of the fighters. The PFL fights have been exciting, with 75% ending in knockout or submission due to the PFL proprietary scoring system which awards bonus points for early finishes.
“PFL is re-imagining MMA with a regular season, playoffs, and championship,” commented Ted Leonsis, PFL investor. “The PFL sport format is going to bring a major new audience to MMA which is great for PFL media distribution partners and PFL brand sponsorship partners.”
“We started the Professional Fighters League for the 300 million MMA fans worldwide who have an appetite for exciting new fights and innovative content,” said Donn Davis, Co-Founder and Chairman of the Board of the Professional Fighters League. “The PFL is reimagining MMA with a regular season, playoffs, and earned championships, providing MMA fans the transparency, storytelling, and context that exist in all other major sports.”
“Fans have enthusiastically responded to the PFL, with over 2.5 million people viewing PFL4,” said Pete Murray, CEO of PFL, “Our fights are as exciting and our broadcast is as good as other MMA companies that have been around for decades, and we’re just getting started.”
The PFL Regular Season concludes with its final two events – PFL6 Thursday August 16 and PFL7 Thursday August 30 – at the magnificent Ocean Resort and Casino in Atlantic City. The Ocean Resort and Casino is the newest venue in Atlantic City, and the entire property opened this summer to rave reviews after a re-development by PFL Investor and real estate mogul Bruce Deifik.
PROFESSIONAL FIGHTERS LEAGUE
The Professional Fighters League (PFL) presents MMA for the first time in the sport format where individuals compete in a regular season, playoffs, and championship. Co-founded by Donn Davis, Russ Ramsey, and Mark Leschly, the Professional Fighters League is backed by an ownership group of sports, media, and business titans. PFL 2018 Season has 72 Elite MMA fighters in 6 weight-classes, with each fighting twice in the PFL Regular Season in June, July, and August. The top 8 fighters in each weight-class advance to the single-elimination PFL Playoffs in October. The PFL Championship is New Year’s Eve with the final bouts in each of six weight classes competing for the $10 million prize pool. The PFL 2018 Season is broadcast live on NBC Sports Network (NBCSN) and streamed live worldwide on Facebook Watch. For more info visit PFLmma.com.