The Professional Fighters League (PFL) is ready to return to MMA action in 2021. After having to miss the entire 2020 season due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic across the world, PFL will be looking to make up for lost time in a big way. Announced by the promotion on Thursday morning, the organization will be hosting a series of events inside a safety “bubble” located in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Like many other sporting organizations, PFL will house all its athletes in a safe environment to ensure that exposure to COVID-19 is limited.
The home of this bubble will be Ocean Casino Resort in Atlantic City, NJ. This location has been used by the PFL before in past seasons. Although some places in the country are beginning to allow fans to attend sporting events, at this time, no fans will be allowed to attend the PFL events.
“PFL is excited to be back on ESPN to showcase our MMA 2.0 product – featuring returning champions, new star signings, and next-generation SmartCage technology innovation,” PFL CEO Peter Murray said in a press release. “Our six regular-season events will be staged at the world-class Ocean Casino Resort where we’ve held successful events in the past. The property has all of the necessary amenities to support our athletes in a bubble environment to ensure their safety as it relates to COVID-19.”
Athletes will be required to spend 17 days in the bubble prior to their fights. During this time they will have to undergo daily COVID testing, mask protocols, and quarantine.
The season will begin on April 23. That event is headlined by Anthony Pettis making his PFL debut against Clay Collard. The 2021 PFL season will air on ESPN 2, ESPN Deportes, and ESPN+. The remaining Regular Season events will take place on April 29, May 6, June 10, June 17, and June 25.