Professional Fighters League Unveils Roster, 2018 Schedule

The Professional Fighters League (PFL) announced on Monday its true sport format, which will feature individual fighters competing in regular-season match-ups, win-and-advance playoffs, and season ending championship fights. The PFL also unveiled its formidable roster of 72 fighters from 13 countries and the league’s official 11 event, 126 fight schedule. The first PFL regular season event will be held on June 7 at Madison Square Garden in New York City.

“PFL is the new league for the new era of MMA, the fastest-growing sport in the world,” said Peter Murray, CEO of PFL. “We are confident that our innovative win-and-advance format will excite MMA fans and draw new fans to the sport. We are honored to provide these incredibly skilled athletes the opportunity to compete on a major global stage. Fans will be able to follow their favorite fighters on their season-long journey fighting for the championship crown and their share of the $10 million prize pool.”

The 2018 PFL season will feature 126 fights in seven regular-season events, a bracket-style ”win or go home” playoff, and a $10 million post-season prize pool—the largest tournament prize pool in the history of MMA. The season will begin with 12 athletes in each of six different weight-classes. Eight fighters from each class will earn their way into the playoff round, and one fighter in each division will earn the title of champion.

All competitors will have to win two fights in one evening during the playoff round to advance to the championship event. Six fighters will take home a 2018 PFL championship belt and a $1 million purse.

Jake Shields at K1 in Los AngelesPFL’s highly-anticipated global roster includes some of the most sought-after fighters in the sport, including a great number of current champions. The 2018 roster is made up of great American fighters in addition to a line-up of the best international fighters.

“The most talented fighters from around the world will proudly fight under the PFL banner,” said Carlos Silva, League President. “In our format, every single punch and every single round matters, as fighters compete for a shot at the PFL championship. We can’t wait to see all the action in the regular season, which stars emerge post-season in October, and who will share in the biggest MMA prize pool ever on New Year’s Eve.”

All of the PFL regular season will air live on Thursday in primetime, as the PFL ushers in “MMA Night in America” on NBC Sports Network. “We are looking forward to the start of the first ever 2018 PFL season on NBCSN,” said Jon Miller, President of NBC Sports. “MMA fans now have regularly scheduled exciting live fights on Thursday nights throughout the summer. The PFL win and advance true sport format will be game-changing for MMA.”

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Domestic and international fans will be able to watch all PFL regular season, playoff, and championship fights—over 66 hours of live action—for free, including the biggest event of the year, the PFL Championship. In the United States, NBC Sports Group will establish an exclusive live Thursday night PFL fight franchise, presenting seven regular-season live events in prime time exclusively on NBCSN from the first fight through the end of August. Events televised by NBCSN will also stream on and the NBC Sports app. All regular season events will have encore telecasts on NBCSN later the same night.

Outside the U.S., Facebook will stream up to six hours of free, live coverage for each event. Facebook will also open each event with a live 30-minute pre-fight show and close with a live 30-minute post-fight show. In the U.S., fans can watch the first three hours of coverage of each event on Facebook prior to NBCSN’s presentation of the main bouts.

The 2018 PFL season kicks off June 7th at Madison Square Garden. PFL 1-7 events of the regular season, playoff events, and the championship event are scheduled as follows:

  • Thursday, June 21:  Chicago Theater, Chicago, IL
  • Thursday, July 5: GWU Smith Center, Washington, D.C.
  • Thursday, July 19: Nassau Coliseum, Long Island, NY
  • Thursday, August 2: Nassau Coliseum, Long Island, NY
  • Thursday, August 16: Ocean Resort Casino, Atlantic City, NJ
  • Thursday, August 30: Ocean Resort Casino, Atlantic City, NJ
  • Friday, October 5: Playoff Event (Venue and City TBA)
  • Saturday, October 13: Playoff Event (Venue and City TBA)
  • Saturday, October 20: Playoff Event (Venue and City TBA)
  • Monday, December 31: Championship Event (Venue and City TBA)

Tickets for the June 7th PFL1 regular season event at Madison Square Garden in New York go on sale Wednesday, April 18th, at

PFL’s 2018 fighter roster:

Featherweight (145 lbs)

  • Alexandre Almeida
  • Max Coga
  • Lee Coville
  • Marcos Galvão
  • Andre Harrison
  • Magomed Idrisov
  • Bekbulat Magomedov
  • Nazareno Malegarie
  • Lance Palmer
  • Steven Siler
  • Juma Tuerxun
  • Timur Valiev

Lightweight (155 lbs)

  • Will Brooks
  • Luiz Firmino
  • Brian Foster
  • Jason High
  • Yuki Kawana
  • Rashid Magomedov
  • Islam Mamedov
  • Ramsey Nijem
  • Natan Schulte
  • Thiago Tavares
  • Chris Wade
  • Robert Watley

Welterweight (170 lbs)

  • Paul Bradley
  • Ray Cooper
  • Pavlo Kusch
  • Magomed Magomedkerimov
  • Abubakar Nurmagomedov
  • Jake Shields
  • Rick Story
  • Herman Terrado
  • Bojan Velickovic
  • Yuri Villefort
  • Jonatan Westin
  • João Zeferino

Middleweight (185 lbs)

  • Shamil Gamzatov
  • Anderson Goncalves
  • Eddie Gordon
  • Rex Harris
  • John Howard
  • Andre Lobato
  • Abus Magomedov
  • Bruno Santos
  • Sadibou Sy
  • Louis Taylor
  • Gasan Umalatov
  • Danillo Villefort

Light Heavyweight (205 lbs)

  • Jamie Abdallah
  • Bazigit Ataev
  • Jason Butcher
  • Rakim Cleveland
  • Maxim Grishin
  • Brandon Halsey
  • Vinny Magalhaes
  • Ronny Markes
  • Sean O’Connell
  • Smealinho Rama
  • Dan Spohn
  • Rashid Yusupov

Heavyweight (265 lbs)

  • Caio Alencar
  • Francimar Barroso
  • Josh Copeland
  • Daniel Gallemore
  • Denis Goltsov
  • Jake Heun
  • Valdrin Istrefi
  • Shawn Jordan
  • Mike Kyle
  • Jack May
  • Jared Rosholt
  • Nick Rossborough