The World Series of Fighting has been rebranded to the Professional Fighters League.
The World Series of Fighting (WSOF) has undergone a major transformation and has been rebranded to the Professional Fighters League (PFL).
The original website, www.wsof.com, redirects users to www.professionalfightersleague.com and features an updated blog on the homepage.
The blog introduces fans to PFL, a league-based MMA promotion that will debut in January 2018 with a $10 million dollar prize pool.
The newly-announced league format, which is reminiscent of Bjorn Rebney’s Bellator tournament structure from 2008-2015, features seven weight classes and aims to transform mixed martial arts into a more professional sport.
Russ Ramsey has been announced as the new executive chairman and introduced PFL on Tuesday.
Russ Ramsey, Executive Chairman, Professional Fighters League, described the new league as a transformative moment for MMA: “The Professional Fighters League brings a proven sports format that fans love and athletes respect to MMA for the first time. Featuring a regular season, post-season, and championship structure, the launch of the Professional Fighters League continues the evolution of MMA into a professional, mass-market, prime-time sport for a global audience.”
The new league is open to all professional MMA fighters worldwide. Fighters will participate in one of seven weight classes and compete in regularly scheduled fights throughout a season. At the end of the regular season, fighters with the best records will advance to a “win-or-go-home” post-season playoff tournament. Each tournament winner in the seven weight classes will be named the Professional Fighters League season champion and collect a $1 million cash prize. An additional $3 million will be shared between other regular season and playoff competitors.
The Professional Fighters League format gives every fighter an equal and fair shot, and provides fans the excitement and transparency of a true sport.
Ray Sefo and Carlos Silva will also continue in their presidential roles and provided more details on the newly-announced league.
Ray Sefo, President, Fighting Operations, Professional Fighters League added: “All fighters deserve to control their own destiny, to win or lose on their own merits. There are thousands of professional MMA fighters, and yet in the entire history of the sport, only a handful of these athletes have ever fought for $1 million. We are proud to offer that opportunity to every fighter in the Professional Fighters League.”
The new league will also deliver a more accessible, engaging and innovative experience for new and current fans of MMA.
Carlos Silva, President, Event Production and Business Operations, Professional Fighters League said: “Our experience and product – in the arena, on TV, and through digital – will connect MMA fans to our fighters and the sport they love in unique and innovative ways. Over the coming months we’ll be announcing more details on how we’re transforming the MMA experience for fighters and fans.”
WSOF was formed in 2012 and has hosted 42 professional MMA events. Their last event, WSOF 35, featured three title fights and saw Blagoy Ivanov crowned as the heavyweight champion on March 18, TKO’ing former UFC contender Shawn Jordan in the first round.
The most notable fighters on the roster are Jon Fitch and Jake Shields, both top former UFC contenders. Fitch is the current WSOF welterweight champ and defended his title against Shields at WSOF 34.