With a unique sports-season format and a focus on untapped markets, the Professional Fighters League is expected to set the stage for emerging Middle Eastern fighters to gain global recognition.
The Professional Fighters League (PFL) is setting its sights on Qatar as part of its expansion into the Middle East and North Africa (MENA).
“Qatar is transforming into a hub for sports and entertainment, which we find truly exciting. Our vision includes establishing regional PFL leagues worldwide, and Qatar is central to that vision,” revealed Peter Murray, CEO of the PFL, in an interview with Doha News.
The PFL announced the launch of PFL MENA, set to commence operations in 2024, amid a major appetite for MMA and talent across the region.
With Saudi Arabia as its regional headquarters, the league aims to offer undiscovered talent in the Middle East a platform for global recognition.
PFL distinguishes itself with a sports-season format that pits fighters in a regular season, playoffs, and championship.
“The Middle East is unquestionably a top region, a top priority, and a market where we will establish PFL MENA,” Murray said. “Our expansion isn’t just about sports; it’s about nurturing talent, promoting competition, and uniting fans throughout the Middle East.”
“There is an incredible amount of interest in growing the sport of MMA throughout the Middle East and Africa. Therefore, based on the consumer market and the talent supply, we believe it’s time to allocate more resources to develop the sport,” he explained.
The league plans to stage at least six events in the region annually, which will be globally distributed by MBC.
While their partnership with SRJ Sports, owned by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, is a cornerstone, Murray confirmed it’s just the beginning.
“Our strategic partnership with SRJ Sports is the first of many other significant partnerships. We have plans to take PFL MENA throughout the Middle East, with a set schedule of events in various countries,” he revealed to Doha News.
Beyond the fights, PFL uses proprietary smart-cage technology and biometric sensors to deliver real-time fighter performance data.
“PFL MENA will feature multiple weight classes in the sports season format. Fighters from the Middle East will be vying for the title of PFL MENA champion by the end of 2024,” added Murray.
The league will also launch a Pay-Per-View Super Fights division in February 2024, featuring globally recognised athletes like Francis Ngannou and Jake Paul.