Interview with Ray Sefo above
When the Professional Fighters League (PFL) was forced to cancel their 2020 season due to the COVID-19 pandemic, not only were the fans let down but the fighters were astoundingly affected. The opportunity to vie for the million-dollar grand prize was uncontrollably put on hold until further notice.
“They’ve had a year layoff. They’re just hungry to go,” Ray Sefo, President of PFL says. “Everyone is so hungry to go, honestly I feel this different surge of energy from all my fighters!”
With the time off from competition, Sefo and the brass behind the scenes at PFL stayed the course, observing how other promotions were operating and making adjustments moving forward seamlessly through the ongoing pandemic.
“Obviously for us, sitting back and seeing how the whole pandemic was going to unfold,” says Sefo. “Then learning from the UFC who is having shows. The Bellator and other places and promotions so we kind of gathered all this information and kind of put it together,” he explains.
“Pete (Murray), who’s our CEO said “We’re going to pay these guys 10 grand each to stay in the country so that helps them with living costs and whatnot,” Sefo says regarding the fighters’ needs during their mandatory quarantining period. “All of our fighters have got to be in the bubble for 17 days before the fight,” says Sefo. Such measures are an effort to ensure the safety of the fighters, cornerman as well as potentially allow any parties that fall ill the opportunity to recover and be cleared by fight night.
Another topic of discussion implemented amidst the time off was how fighters who miss weight will be penalized. In previous seasons, if a fighter missed weight, they weren’t eligible to earn any points toward their season’s standings/ranking.
This season, fighters will have more incentive to make weight. If a fighter misses weight, they’ll have points deducted from their season standings as opposed to not earning points at all like previously formatted.
“These guys have to be held accountable. Sefo insists. “I mean, they are professionals! Do you know what I mean? And I get it that weight cutting is tough. But that just means if that’s not your weight anymore, it’s time to move up!”
After a long year off, The 2021 season of PFL kicks off on Friday, April 23rd on ESPN+ and ESPN 2. Former UFC lightweight champion, Anthony “Showtime Pettis is set to take on boxing and UFC veteran, “Cassius” Clay Collard.
Tune in above to hear from PFL president and kickboxing legend, Ray Sefo joins MyMMANews to discuss PFL’s time away from competition and improvements made, the importance of making weight in the tournament-style rankings, and much more!