PFL Chairman Donn Davis revealed massive plans to establish a global network for MMA.
Earlier this year, the PFL began their international expansion by launching starting the first season of PFL Europe. Over the next three years, the MMA promotion plans to continue using their full-season format in different regions worldwide. During an interview on the Spinnin Backfist podcast, Davis explained his desire to create an MMA Champions League:
“Our vision, as you guys have heard from us, the Champions League of MMA. To be the first true connecting global network. As you know, 80% of the 600 million MMA fans are not in the U.S. 80% of them are somewhere else, so it’s much like soccer…”
Davis continued by detailing how MMA fans in other countries rarely get to watch events in their prime times. By adding more PFL leagues worldwide, he believes fans will love being able to follow their favorite fighters and attend events live consistently:
“We want to take the product to the fans structurally and systematically all the time… PFL Europe was the first, four events, same as here, single elimination. You become champion if you win and advance enough, that’s our vision for the other seven leagues. We put a stake in the ground last week that we will have six international regional leagues by 2026. The winners of each will fight each other, the Champions League of MMA. The winners of each will immediately get a contract into PFL Global.”
Donn Davis explains Francis Ngannou’s involvement in PFL Africa
The PFL took another step toward their plans to take over the MMA landscape by signing Francis Ngannou. The historic deal featured various components, including Ngannou being the Chairman of PFL Africa, which has yet to be launched. During the same interview on the Spinnin Backfist podcast, Donn Davis explained the future of PFL Africa by saying:
“It was always an idea we had and always an idea that we would accelerate if Francis would become a part of it because of his ability on three levels – recruit fighters, eight distribution sponsors, and be a global ambassador to increase audience would accelerate that to being a priority market for us. That was really slated for 2027, but we moved it up to 2025 when he was able to become Chairman of that.”
Before making his promotional debut, Ngannou and the PFL agreed that he can pursue his boxing aspirations. As a result, ‘The Predator’ won’t return to MMA until 2024. He last fought in January 2022, defending his UFC heavyweight championship against Francis Ngannou.