(Ryan Loco/PFL)

Danny Townsend: The Future of the PFL

PFL MMA is expanding across the globe, the next step is an ambitious event taking place in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Tim Wheaton of Combat Press got a one-on-one exclusive interview with the Chief Executive Officer at SRJ Sports Investments Danny Townsend.

SRJ Sports is a partner of the PFL and a key in the partnership with Saudi Arabia. We discussed PFL’s expansion. On Feb. 24, live from Riyadh, there will be a PFL vs. Bellator showdown, this event has an exclusive world title belt and ring representing the unification of these two organizations.

Danny Townsend Exclusive Interview

Saudi Arabia is not what it once was. It has had rapid change over the past decade and five years.


Yeah. I think it’s frustrating to hear innuendo from outside of the Kingdom that aren’t informed. Being Australian, and living here now for the time I have, I’ve seen it firsthand. There is genuine authenticity to the conviction for change, and for development and for diversification and all the things that the Kingdom is about and their “Vision 2030” is there for all of us to follow. And, I think, when you’ve got a vision and you’ve got the conviction to execute on that vision, then it’s inspiring. And, I think that’s what’s making this place a pretty interesting place to live.

In addition to PFL Middle East, there have been expanding leagues in Europe, Africa, Australia, and Latin America. With the broadcast deal with U-NEXT in Japan, what can we expect for PFL Asia?

I think that’s certainly part of the roadmap. We’d like to serve all parts of the world. To Pete Murray’s point earlier on around that pent-up demand for more MMA content, diversified product offerings, things that are gonna give those fans more and more to get excited about and continue the amazing growth in the MMA sector. But yeah, of course when we start looking at Latina America, Africa, Asia, obviously the Middle East is important for us here, but for PFL globally, being able to develop that global network of leagues that ladder up to, to the big global league, that’s a really exciting product that we, we find attractive to invest in, which is why we did.

Will there be a partnership continuing with RIZIN MMA?

Those guys do a great job. We’ve enjoyed a great relationship with them through Bellator and through PFL to now, and I don’t see that changing necessarily.

Francis Ngannou or Anthony Joshua?

Well, you know what, I’ve gotta be a Francis man, right? I do like AJ. He’s been fantastic for boxing and he’s been great for British boxing. I lived in London for a bunch of years and, and watched him at the Olympics and all those things, so he’s certainly an inspiring athlete. But look, Francis is a PFL guy, so I’m more rooting for Francis.