Copper Box Arena in London Saturday, Aug. 20, 2022. 

Professional Fighters League makes its pay-per-view debut in the fall

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The Professional Fighters League (PFL) is launching its first pay-per-view on ESPN+ this fall, underscoring its legitimacy in the sport. 

On November 25, mixed martial arts fans will dole out money to watch the league’s fourth world championship, encompassing six world title fights with $6 million on the line, at Madison Square Garden in New York City. 

“ESPN is known as the destination for the biggest…combat pay-per-view events,” PFL CEO Peter Murray told Fox News Digital. “The PFL has now reached that stage, and it’s befitting of an event such as our championship.” 

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It is a major milestone for the four-year-old American MMA league which is already valued at $500 million and backed by major investors including Ares Capital, Luxor Capital, Elysian Park Ventures and prominent sports figures such as former New York Yankee slugger Alex Rodriguez.  

Copper Box Arena in London Saturday, Aug. 20, 2022. 
(Cooper Neill / PFL)

It is also the only combat sports league that competes in a season-long format that includes playoffs and championship fights.  

Earlier this year, the sports league announced a new, multi-year media rights agreement with ESPN, giving PFL expanded coverage on ESPN linear networks and ESPN+. 

With the pay-per-view fight, the league, which claims the title of the No. 2 MMA league, is not only boosting its legitimacy, but it is adding another revenue stream.

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According to BetMGM, over a dozen UFC fights notched the seven-figure mark when it came to pay-per-view sales. The October 2018 fight between Khabib Nurmagomedov and Conor McGregor garnered the most attention with 2.4 million pay-per-view purchases, according to the outlet. 

The first PFL pay-per-view event was purposely planned for over the Thanksgiving in New York, its global headquarters, to amass the attention of sports fans during the holiday. 

Copper Box Arena in London Saturday, Aug. 20, 2022. 

Copper Box Arena in London Saturday, Aug. 20, 2022. 
(Cooper Neill / PFL)

“We felt that there was a real gap in major global sporting events,” Murray said. “There’s definitely demand. … So we’re going to take advantage of that opportunity.” 

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Part of the draw will be the lineup. 

The card will feature some of its top fighters and will be headlined by Kayla Harrison, a two-time judo Olympic gold medalist who made her debut in MMA in 2018. Harrison will be a big draw in itself given her record and recognition within the sport. 

The championship will have six fighters, and every champion will receive their respective belt and a $1 million payday. 

ESPN+ PPV will stream the card live at 8 p.m. ET. However, ESPN+ will exclusively stream the undercard at 6 p.m. ET with the pre-fight show coverage starting at 5:30 p.m. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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