(Ryan Loco/PFL)

Professional Fighters League Poised for Major Impact in 2024

The Professional Fighters League is now positioned to make a major difference in the world of MMA in 2024. After making significant moves throughout 2023, the PFL is poised for an impact in the coming calendar year. Let’s review the major moments that put the PFL in this exemplary position.

Boxers and the PFLW

The PFL has been busy signing a list of incredible world champion boxers to add to their already impressive PFLW roster. This year, it was announced that the Professional Fighters League had signed the following boxers; WBA, WBC, IBF, WBO, and The Ring world champions Savannah Marshall, Amanda Serrano, and Claressa Shields. These three signings are an incredible collection of world-renowned athletes.

These athletes will face a dangerous mix of female fighters in the PFL, such as Olympic gold medalist Kayla Harrison, two-time world champion Larissa Pacheco, Aspen Ladd, Julia Budd, and maybe in the future, Bellator champion Cris “Cyborg” Justino.


Bellator Buyout and Franchise Expansion

Throughout 2023, there was constant speculation of whether the PFL was in negotiations to buy competitor promotion Bellator, which has been an MMA staple since 2008. In November, it was confirmed by Ariel Helwani that the PFL indeed was purchasing Bellator.

The plan is to have a battle of champions between the PFL and Bellator champions in 2024. Bellator has marquee champions such as Ryan Bader, Vadim Nemkov, Jason Jackson and Usman Nurmagomedov, among others.

Bellator will also be used to continue to work in international markets as a franchise branch. Many fans have speculated that this means that the PFL and Bellator will continue to work with RIZIN FF, which is a cornerstone of MMA in Japan.

The PFL franchises include PFL League Season, PFL PPV Super Fights, PFL Challenger Series, PFL International Leagues, and Bellator. This is in addition to PFL Europe, PFL Africa, and the rumored PFL Middle East.

PFL International

The biggest moment of the year for global MMA fans may have been the emphatic knockout Cedric Doumbe earned when he was in the main event in Paris. Soccer star Kylian Mbappé, 2023’s third-highest-paid athlete in the world, was cageside and was stunned by the nine-second knockout. Mbappé’s reaction reflected that of MMA viewers worldwide.

The PFL is in a prime position to capitalize on the European MMA market. With former UFC title contender Dan Hardy at the helm, the U.K., Ireland, and France are a few locations on the radar for the organization.

PFL Europe has produced major stars, such as English knockout machine Dakota Ditcheva, French knockout king Doumbe, and the heavy-handed Slovenian striker Jakob Nedoh.

The PFL Middle East has been rumored for some time as well, most notably in Saudi Arabia. Additionally, in the coming years, the PFL Africa will have its first event led by Francis Ngannou.

Francis Ngannou

The biggest news story of 2023 was the free agency of former UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou. The Cameroonian MMA star was fielding offers from organizations such as the UFC, BKFC, ONE Championship, Bellator, and GLORY Kickboxing.

In the end, the knockout artist announced a mega-signing with the Professional Fighters League. Ngannou was impressed that there was already a fighter Global Advisory Board, helmed by hall-of-fame athlete Randy Couture. The PFL and Ngannou also agreed to expand into Africa, his opponent will get paid a massive sum, and he is free to pursue boxing fights.

Ngannou made an impact in the world of boxing earlier this year when he faced the unbeaten WBC and The Ring world boxing champion Tyson Fury in Saudi Arabia. Most pundits had predicted that Ngannou would do adequately. Instead, he gave the British striker his toughest test in years. The former UFC heavyweight champ stole rounds off of the boxing champ and even scored a knockdown. Ngannou is set to step into the PFL Smart Cage sometime in 2024, in addition to a boxing ring.

Jake Paul

Serrano, as mentioned above, is a boxer promoted by notorious YouTube star Jake Paul. Paul moonlights as a celebrity boxer, but his real bread-and-butter is in promoting fights, such as her blockbuster fight at Madison Square Garden. Additionally, Paul has been a pay-per-view darling with his multiple boxing matches.

In 2023, Paul began working with the PFL and is helping to launch the PFL PPV Super Fight Division. The YouTube and boxing star is set to compete in the PFL sometime in 2024. Rumors have been swirling about who his opponent will be, some have speculated former boxing foe Nate Diaz may be his dance partner. Regardless of the opponent, it will bring eyes as Paul specializes in marketing.

PFL in 2024

After a whirlwind year in 20123, the Professional Fighters League is set to make a major impact in 2024. The MMA organization has set a high bar, and fans are fancy to know how the PFL will put it all together. With world champion boxers, Jake Paul, Francis Ngannou, Bellator and international expansion, it is going to be a busy year for the organization.