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PFL suspends 2020 season, contracted fighters to be paid monthly stipend

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Mike Tyson and Ray Cooper III
Ryan Loco, PFL

The Professional Fighters League will look after its fighters as it foregoes holding any events this year due to coronavirus concerns.

MMA Fighting confirmed with PFL officials that the upcoming 2020 season has been suspended, following an initial report by ESPN. The first PFL card of the season was originally scheduled to take place on May 21.

Currently, the plan is for the league to conduct its next regular season and playoffs in 2021. Until then, contracted fighters are expected to be paid a monthly stipend, PFL officials confirmed. The amount of the stipend was not disclosed.

Formerly the World Series of Fighting, the league was entering its third year as the PFL, characterized by its unique regular season and playoff format. The playoffs are capped off by New Year’s Eve shows where tournament champions are crowned and given a $1,000,000 check.

PFL CEO Peter Murray released an official statement on Monday, which can be read below:

“In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Professional Fighters League has rescheduled our upcoming 2020 season for Spring 2021. PFL is a global MMA league with athletes from over 25 countries, and our decision is guided by the health and safety of our fighters, fans, partners, and event personnel.

“The PFL mission is to evolve and grow the sport of MMA, and we look forward to staging our unique sport-season format with Regular Season, Playoff and Championship events on ESPN platforms next year. PFL has always been focused on delivering the best made-for-TV MMA product and we will continue to deliver the most innovative fight experience going forward. Fans can also look forward to PFL elevating our roster with new championship caliber fighter signings such as Rory MacDonald.

“For the remainder of 2020, the PFL will support our fighters with a monthly cash stipend to help provide some relief during these challenging times. In addition, for sports fans who we know are looking for compelling content, the PFL will deliver new original programming across ESPN and PFL platforms.

“PFL will continue to be an innovator in the world of sports.

“Our thoughts are with all those impacted by the COVID-19 coronavirus.”