Ray Sefo remembers all too well what it was like to compete in classic K-1 tournaments when he was facing the best kickboxers in the world in several fights over one night.
K-1 was the class of kickboxing during those days and it all led to the World Grand Prix where a final champion would be crowned.
It was thanks in large part to that experience that Sefe drew upon when he started visualizing his plans for Professional Fighters League. The mixed martial arts promotion would be set up as a season much like K-1 with a series of fights that would determine the seeding in each weight division and then eight fighters would ultimately battle it out for the grand prize — in this instance it’s $1 million.
For television broadcasts, Professional Fighters League is still set up in a traditional format with some fights airing on Facebook with others being broadcast on the NBC Sports Network but the difference here is that every fight matters from the first until the last.
“It reminds me of the K-1 days,” Sefo said when speaking to MMAWeekly. “Every fight is a main card fight or a main event fight. Every fight matters. From fight No. 1 to fight No. 12, every fight matters.”
Because Professional Fighters League is set up as a season format, the fighters competing in the first couple of cards are not only looking to earn entry into the final tournament but they are also attempting to score the most points to determine the seeding.
There are no off nights because every fight truly matters if the athletes want to have a chance to compete at that $1 million grand prize.
In addition to the unique format for mixed martial arts, Sefo was also determined to stack the Professional Fighters League with top names from around the globe.
Much like those K-1 cards that will loaded with the best kickboxers in the world, Sefo wanted to see the same parallel in Professional Fighters League.
While the organization rose from the ashes of World Series of Fighting, Sefo didn’t just want fighters from there to make up the roster for Professional Fighters League.
So Sefo along with the other executives at Professional Fighters League sought out the best available free agents in the sport to help build each weight class into a powerhouse gathering of the top mixed martial artists in the world.
“I go back to my years in K-1, it was fighters from all over the world. This kind of comes from that, too,” Sefo explained. “It was important for us to find the best fighters from around the world who were available to compete in the season. Once this first season is over, next season we’re going to have even more fighters who want to be a part of the PFL.
“I mean you have a guy like Chris Wade who just happened to be available and then a guy like Rick Story, who was really interested in fighting during the season. Then we have guys like Jake Shields and more who are part of the PFL. I couldn’t be any happier with the guys that we have signed and we’ll be looking for more as we progress.”
The third Professional Fighters League show will take place on Thursday night with the early fights airing on Facebook and the main card on NBC Sports Network.
So far Sefo couldn’t be any happier with the progression the league has made thus far and he’s excited to see how the rest of 2018 unfolds.
“The way that things are moving are exactly what we anticipated,” Sefo said. “When you put a plan together, you want it to play out and when things start happening you can’t be any happier that everything is moving the way we wished for it move.”