PFL Cuts Fighters From Roster Following Cancelation Of 2020 Season

The Professional Fighters League (PFL) has made a number of big decisions over the past week due to the coronavirus outbreak, and unfortunately, not all of them will bring good news to their fighters.

The organization announced days ago that they would be canceling their 2020 season and paying their fighters a monthly stipend. It appears, though, that this decision only applies to a certain number of PFL fighters. A report from MMA Fighting says that PFL president Ray Sefo sent out different emails (obtained and shared by the website) addressing the situation to two groups of fighters. The first group, comprised of athletes who would remain on the roster, received an email informing them of the season postponement and informed them that they would be receiving a “monthly cash stipend” for the second half of the year that would not need to be paid back or deducted from future pay:

“This note is to update you on the status of the 2020 PFL season.

PFL has worked with our media partner ESPN to reschedule the upcoming 2020 Season for Spring 2021, as discussed in the attached press statement.

Like all major sports leagues, the Professional Fighters League has been closely monitoring the unprecedented impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and has been in regular communication with government health authorities, athletic commissions, business partners, the fight community, and major sports leaders to assess all reasonable scenarios for successfully conducting the PFL 2020 season.

After careful consideration, it is clear that the only option to safely complete a full season is to reschedule the PFL season for next year. This decision, made together with ESPN, is based on numerous factors, including safeguarding the health of the fighters, fans, partners, and event personnel and preserving the integrity of the PFL full sport-season format.

We therefore are providing this notice of force majeure under your Exclusive Promotional Fight Agreement with the PFL to postpone the next Full Season to be rescheduled to start in Spring 2021.

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To help support our fighters in these extraordinary times, PFL has set up a program to pay each fighter a monthly cash stipend for the second half of 2020.

This monthly cash payment is a bonus from PFL to fighters and will not need to be repaid or deducted from any future pay. You will receive details about your monthly cash stipend later this week.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to Ray Sefo or Jim Bramson.

Our thoughts continue to be with all those impacted by COVID-19. We hope that you and your families remain safe and healthy. PFL strives to be a positive influence as we continue to evolve and grow the sport of MMA, and we look forward to emerging together stronger.

Sincerely,
Ray Sefo

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The second group, comprised of less than a third of the rostered fighters according to what PFL CEO Peter Murray told Fansided, received an email informing them that their contract with the organization had been terminated and they were free to fight for other promotions.


“This note is to update you on the status of the 2020 PFL season.

Like all major sports leagues, the Professional Fighters League has been closely monitoring the unprecedented impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and has been in regular communication with government health authorities, athletic commissions, business partners, the fight community, and major sports leaders to assess all reasonable scenarios for successfully conducting the PFL 2020 season.

After careful consideration, it is clear that the only option to safely complete a full season is to reschedule the PFL season for next year.

This decision, made together with ESPN, is based on numerous factors, including safeguarding the health of the fighters, fans, partners, and event personnel and preserving the integrity of the PFL full sport-season format.

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We therefore are providing this notice pursuant to Section 17.3 and/or 17.4 of your Exclusive Promotional Fight Agreement with the PFL that your agreement is terminated and you are formally released to compete elsewhere effective immediately.

We hope that you and your family remain safe and healthy and wish you the best of luck.

Sincerely,
Ray Sefo”

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