Some say that there are no good guys in the sport of MMA, but Emiliano Sordi would beg to differ. This PFL champion used his massive seven figure payday to help others in his home country of Argentina.
The PFL may not get the same recognition as some of MMA’s other promotions, but their unique format has benefitted many. One such example is Sordi, who conquered the 2019 light heavyweight playoffs and tournament to win the coveted $1,000,000 prize. It took him five fights within a calendar year, but he managed to win all of these to capture what was likely the biggest payday of his career.
Raza argentina pic.twitter.com/WXVePJn9NI
— Emiliano Sordi (@emilianosordi) November 23, 2020
Emiliano Sordi Used Prize Money To Give Back
While most people would use their $1 million on themselves, Emiliano Sordi had something else in mind. As he explained in a recent interview, the Argentina native knew how bad of an impact the global pandemic had been having on the people in his country. So he decided to do what he could to help the people in his homeland, using the money he won from the tournament to do so.
“I tried to use this that happened to me to help friends and people in my city,” Sordi said in Spanish on Monday’s episode of Hablemos MMA. “I live in Rio Cuarto. It’s a very small city. It might have 180,000 inhabitants. The people had it very bad. Everything here is very rough. The economy is very bad. The situation is looking very ugly.
“During the quarantine, a few times we were allowed to leave during the week. I would go out and try to help people with my friends. We got special permits that the municipality gave us and we would go out twice or three times a week, sometimes one, and we would give out food.
“We started giving food to about 300 people and we got to a point where we gave food to 3,000. So economically, I didn’t enjoy any of (the $1 million prize). I didn’t buy anything. I didn’t go on vacation. I mean, I was locked at home. But I used those resources to help people who were going through a rough time.”
Sordi was granted access to his neighborhood clubhouse where he was able to utilize their large kitchen space. He and his friends would then cook and prepare box meals for people, then hand them out.
“It broke my soul watching children, like 5 or 10 years old, telling me that they hadn’t eaten in three days or that their mother would only drink tea so they could eat. The truth is that it was a tough experience, but it would give us an even bigger desire to keep helping them.”
This is an incredible gesture from Emiliano Sordi. While he admits that there are still plenty of people struggling in the area, he can take satisfaction in knowing that he used virtually all of his prize money to help others. He is truly one of the good guys in the sport.