August 12, 2022

PFL CEO Peter Murray reveals new format for 2022 playoffs

The 2022 Professional Fighters League playoffs kick off this week in New York, and a league that prides itself on innovation has revealed a new format for its postseason events.

The first of three upcoming playoff events, 2022 PFL Playoffs 1 takes place Friday at the Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York City, airing on ESPN and streaming on ESPN+ (7 p.m. ET). While the company’s traditional knockout brackets will remain the focus of each of the playoff events, PFL CEO Peter Murray recently revealed that each fight on the card will feature “do or die” stakes of a few different varieties.

“What we’ve been working to do with these maps – all three including New York, Cardiff and London – are maps with a purpose, which means every fight really matters,” Murray said. underground MMA. “Of course we have our semi-final matchups, but every fight on the card will really count.

“In New York, we will have two fights that will lead to the four semi-final fights that go or die, which means the fighters who win these fights will secure their position on next season’s 2023 roster, and whoever loses , we’re going to say, ‘Thank you, it’s time for you to move on.'”

Unlike other major MMA promotions, the PFL uses a traditional league format, with fighters competing in a regular season as they seek to qualify for this year’s playoffs and ultimately an annual championship.

The four fighters looking to secure their spot on the Class of 2023 roster with a victory Friday include a light heavyweight contest between Marthin Hamlet (9-4) and Corey Hendricks (9-4), as well as a clash of heavyweights between Marcelo Nunes (8-1) and Dylan Potter (10-5).

These two playoff matches lead to semifinals in the lightweight division with Anthony Pettis (25-13) against Stevie Ray (24-10) and Olivier Aubin-Mercier (15-5) against Alex Martinez (10-2) , as well as at light heavyweight, with Omari Akhmedov (23-7-1) against Josh Silveira (9-0) and Delan Monte (9-2) against Rob Wilkinson (15-5).

The winners of these four contests advance to the 2022 PFL Championship, where the winners take home the season title, as well as $1 million.

But that’s not all the promotion has planned for its upcoming events. Following the night’s main card, additional fights will air on ESPN+ and will see prospects seek a spot in next year’s PFL Challenger Series events, which feature promising prospects looking to qualify for a future spot in the regular season.

“For ESPN+ viewers as well as fans at the Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden, the event will continue past the semi-final fights, and we’re getting into the same thing: do or die,” Murray explained. “These are the fights that matter, and these are the PFL Challenger Series qualifiers. Whoever wins will have their deal confirmed for next year’s Challenger Series roster, and those who lose, once again, will we’ll say, ‘Thank you, and it’s time to move on.’”

For the past few years, the PFL’s knockout events have been filled with showcase fights, which have produced winners and losers, but which have seemingly taken place outside of the company’s traditional format. Under the company’s new plans, this is no longer the case.

“These cards have consequences,” Murray said. “Every fight matters to these fighters. It leads to the next phase of their career, their season or their chapter with the PFL.”

After Friday’s event, the PFL playoffs will continue on August 13 in Cardiff and August 20 in London. Details of the company’s 2022 championship event have yet to be revealed.

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