The Professional Fighters League has released roughly one-third of its roster according to various reports.
Now, PFL CEO, Peter Murray revealed the promotion did have to let some fighters go. But, he says they did keep a ‘significant majority’ of fighters.
“Although we are rescheduling our 2020 season, we have fighters across six weight classes,” Murray said to FanSided MMA. “We’re keeping the significant majority, over two-thirds.”
When asked which fighters were released, Murray wouldn’t provide names. But, he makes it clear they were forced to make difficult decisions during this COVID-19 pandemic.
“We haven’t announced those fighters, so we’re not at liberty to share all those details,” he explained. “But the coronavirus had an impact on businesses in all industries including sports and we’ve had to make some difficult decisions during a very difficult time.”
It is likely the big names of Rory MacDonald, Kayla Harrison, Ray Cooper III, Lance Palmer, and Olivier Aubin-Mercier are among the fighters still on the roster.
As for the stipend, Murray says it is simply a bonus and will not impact their future pay. They wanted to help out their athletes during this difficult time.
“It’s an absolute bonus … if you will,” Murray said. “This stipend is not going to be reallocated from [the fighters’] future show and win dollars and their other commitments from the PFL tied to the season that we reschedule. It’s something that we can do, on some level, to help them through this time.”
It is interesting that the PFL was forced to release fighters, but it shouldn’t come as a surprise. It is a tough time for everyone and PFL was forced to make some cost-saving measures.
Cole Shelton covers MMA for BJPenn.com, MMANews, and MyMMANews.com while also being the lead MMA odds writer for Sports Betting Dime