The rebranded Professional Fighters League will get a jumpstart on its 2018 league format with an inaugural event in conjunction with NASCAR’s Coke Zero 400 weekend on June 30.
The card will be headlined by a a welterweight clash between Jon Fitch and Brian Foster to determine the No. 1 seed at 170 pounds when PFL officially launches in 2018. Three other bouts will take place during the two-hour event: Smealinho Rama vs. Ronny Markes at light heavyweight; Joao Zeferino vs. Herman Terrado at welterweight and Jason High vs. Caros Fodor at lightweight.
Fitch vs. Foster will be a five-round main event, while the other contests will be three rounds. Each June 30 fight will factor into PFL league rankings when the season begins in 2018. The first PFL season will culminate with a post-season tournament, and the winner in each weight class will be awarded a $1 million prize in December 2018.
Professional Fighters League: Daytona will take place at the UNOH Fanzone at Daytona International Speedway following the completion of the Coca-Cola Firecracker 250. Admission to the PFL card is included with a ticket to the NASCAR race. The event will be televised on NBC Sports Network, although an exact broadcast time was not revealed.
“In this first-of-its-kind partnership,the Professional Fighters League inaugural event at Daytonawill bring fans of MMA and stock car racing together –both of whom thrive on intensity and high-stakes competition,” said Carlos Silva, PFL’s President of Event Production and Business Operations. “This is the first in a series of innovative and groundbreaking league initiatives from the Professional Fighters League, and we’re proud to kick it all off at one of racing’s most iconic venues.”
PFL also revealed that it will hold three more events in 2017 before beginning its league format in 2018. Those cards will take place as follows: July 29 in Everett, Wash., Oct. 14 in Las Vegas and Nov. 4 in Washington, D.C. Venues for the upcoming events were not announced.
After holding 37 events since its inception in 2012, World Series of Fighting was officially rebranded as the Professional Fighters League under a new ownership group earlier this year. According to a release, the final WSOF champions will be honored at an event this fall. The eight fighters competing at PFL: Daytona are among the first fighters signed to compete in the promotion’s inaugural season, with more signings to come.
“The road to the first Professional Fighters League playoffs and post-season $1 million purse begins this January, but the winners in Daytona could have a little smoother start,” said president of fighting operations Ray Sefo. “Recruitment for 2018 continues at a strong pace and we’re looking forward to welcoming more athletes into the Professional Fighters League in the coming weeks and months.”