Last Thursday, the Professional Fight League announced a new program called the PFL Challenger Series through FuboTV and Fubo Sports Network.
The challenger series is similar to Dana White’s Contender Series in which prospective fighters battle it out in an attempt to impress Dana White and earn a UFC contract. In line with PFL, they have added their own twists onto the classic MMA formula.
“PFL Challenger Series is not your father’s contender series”
-PFL Founder and Chairman Donn Davis
What’s different in the Challenger Series?
Instead of Donn Davis or any PFL executives choosing who gets a contract, it will rather be a panel of outside judges. PFL described the selection of judges to be “combat sports champions, major celebrities from music and entertainment, and global influencers.” So far, PFL has confirmed three judges: Boxing Hall of Famer Mike Tyson, current NFL running back Todd Gurley, and former NFL linebacker Ray Lewis. There have also been rumors of Chael Sonnen being a judge as well.
It is important to note that these celebrity judges will only be deciding who gets a PFL contract, NOT the outcome of the fight.
PFL also announced that fans will also be able to vote for who they believe most deserves a contract, giving more interaction to fans. Earlier this year, PFL partnered with the MMA fan scoring app Verdict and would display the “Global Scoreboard” (The average scoreboard that fans input into the app) during events. This has been a major success for PFL as adding the official fan interaction, the viewers feel like they’re a part of the event, not just viewing it. It can be imagined the fan voting for the Challenger Series will have the same, if not a larger impact.
In addition to fan voting, PFL can also predict the fights through the FuboTV free-to-play predictive game.
It is confirmed that at least one PFL contract will be awarded per episode. A contract to PFL is of course different than any other MMA promotion. PFL is the only MMA promotion to use a Regular Season –> Playoffs –> Championship format. You can read more about it here.
Where can I watch the Challenger Series?
You can watch PFL’s Challenger series on FuboTV and Fubo Sports Network starting February 18, 2022, and the next 7 subsequent Fridays. As PFL has signed a multi-year deal with FuboTV, it can be expected that the Challenger Series will return in subsequent years as well.