Peter Murray, the CEO of PFL, hopes that the promotion’s unique league concept and focus on technology can make them a co-leader in MMA
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A league format had never been implemented in MMA until the PFL introduced the concept in their inaugural season four years ago.
The promotion’s CEO, Peter Murray, believes the format has brought an unprecedented product to the sport, captivating fight fans around the world. Leagues are used in most of the biggest sports around the world, but the violence of combat has kept promotions from using them.
“Our vision was to reinvent and grow the sport by bringing an innovative, differentiated MMA product to market,” said Murray mirror fight . “We felt the season format was right for fighters and fans. It’s a time-tested format, fans have the opportunity to truly follow the journeys of fighters through a rigorous and grueling format unique to MMA.
The fighters will face off four times in seven months to try to reach the knockout stage and win the famous $1 million prize each season. Points are earned for a win, bonus points are awarded for placements as the four highest scoring fighters from each division qualify for the playoffs.
“We think the league format is much more compelling,” Murray said. “In other promotions, the events are one-offs and not transparent to the fighters or fans. In the PFL, every fight counts in our format. It’s a proven format, the fights are exciting and there’s a system.”
The promotion has taken strict measures to ensure fighters can keep up the intense schedule by banning elbow strikes in hopes of reducing injuries. Matchmakers also try to ensure that fighters have at least 45 days between seasonal battles.
PFL also aims to revolutionize the sport through technology, being the only promotion to have introduced GhostCam, a system that allows spectators to watch fights horizontally instead of across the cage. With the RefereeCam, fans can also watch entire fights from the referee’s perspective.
“Technology is at the core of everything the PFL does to deliver the action,” he added. “That’s with our smart cage technology, but in terms of camera technology, we’re always looking for additional ways to give fans access to the action.
Feeling underserved by MMA fans, Murray wants to offer viewers a different product in the league format. The PFL has big goals for the next five years and hopes to host several superfights featuring “needle mover” athletes on pay-per-view next year.
In a market largely dominated by the UFC, the goal of the promotion is to become a co-leader in MMA, something Murray believes their different approach means they can achieve.
“This is a growing sport so we felt we had timed it right. We have 600 million fans and growing, 80 percent outside the US. This fan base is the youngest of any major type, it’s the third largest fan base after football and basketball,” Murray continued.
“It’s an underserved fan. They want access to more premium events each year and we pride ourselves on delivering that in a different version of the sport on different nights of the week than some of our key competitors. We have a number two market position but our focus is on becoming a co-leader in this sport.”
https://www.mirror.co.uk/sport/other-sports/mma/pfl-boss-hails-league-format-26941876 PFL boss praises league format for bringing 'compelling product' to MMA