Sport PFL chairman Donn Davis: Promotion aims to be most innovative product in sports
Commission overturns Fabricio Werdum's KO loss to Renan Ferreira at 2021 PFL 3
wanted justice for his controversial PFL debut, and now he's got it. The New Jersey State Athletic Control Board has overturned Werdum's (24-9-1) knockout loss to at 2021 PFL 3 this past Thursday to a no contest after reviewing the tape and concluding that the refe ree missed what should’ve been a fight-ending tap out by Ferreira (6-2). ESPN first reported the change in result on Monday, and Werdum’s manager, Ali Abdelaziz of Dominance MMA, subsequently expressed his pleasure with a successful appeal in a statement on Twitter. I want to thank the New Jersey Athletic Commission, Mr.
Following a year-long layoff due to the COVID-19 pandemic, PFL officials are ecstatic with the response to the promotion’s 2021 season.
With two events already in the books, high-profile signings such as Rory MacDonald and Anthony Pettis have made their debuts – albeit with mixed results – while defending champions such as Lance Palmer and Natan Schulte were each handed rather surprising defeats. PFL founder and chairman Donn Davis believes the organization is resonating with fans so far in 2021.
“We came out with a big-time fighter roster, major innovation, and most of all, every fight matters in the PFL,” Davis told MMA Junkie. “It’s a regular season, playoff, championship format, just like the NBA or just like the NFL. Every fight matters, and I think for the first time, fans said, ‘Wow. What it means to see every fight matters and what it means to see a top-notch video production.’
PFL 2: Rory MacDonald vs. Curtis Millender preview and prediction
Rangers OF Joey Gallo made a terrific diving grab in Texas' 6-1 win over the Angels on Tuesday night.
“The PFL showed up in 2021.”
The PFL returns to action on Thursday with, which airs on ESPN and streams on ESPN+ from Ocean Casino Resort in Atlantic City, N.J. The card, which features names such as Fabricio Werdum and Kayla Harrison, kicks off a busy weekend in major MMA, with the PFL, Bellator and the UFC all holding events on consecutive nights.
Of course, PFL’s pitch to potential viewers always has been about a unique approach to the format, featuring the only MMA organization staged as a season, including playoffs. Davis believes they’ve hit a homerun with the concept, which results in every fight on the card holding significance, which isn’t always the case with other promotions.
“The UFC is a fantastic product – it’s just a different product,” Davis said. “And if there’s a McGregor-Mayweather, if there is a big Usman fight, if there is a Jon Jones fight, we all love that UFC product, but 95 percent of the UFC fights are not for a belt. They’re not for the big names. And in the PFL, every single fight matters. That fighter doesn’t win, see you next year.
PFL champ Ray Cooper III: 'I'm going to be in the finals again this year'
Hawaiian slugger knows what it takes to cash $1 million check as a PFL champion, but the challenge became even more difficult this year, with COVID-19 protocol forcing a lengthy quarantine for the competitors. But the 28-year-old knockout artist believes it's important…But the 28-year-old knockout artist believes it’s important not to lose sight of what matters against what doesn’t.
“We all love a Game 7. Every fight is essentially a Game 7. So if you haven’t seen the PFL before, I encourage you to check it out.”
But for Davis, the PFL’s approach to innovation couldn’t stop solely with the season format. He envisioned an organization that was willing to reinvent every aspect of an MMA broadcast, and with COVID-19 forcing the company to hold events without fans in the building, Davis said it simply allowed PFL to further sharpen its product, which is currently distributed in more than 160 countries.
“PFL is a made-for-TV product,” Davis said. “We’re focused on the 10 million people watching, not the people attending, therefore everything about our show is optimized for TV. … If you haven’t seen it, the innovations we’ve released, even this year, have wowed people. We’ve even done something called the ghost cam, which makes the cage disappear so when people are fighting next to the cage, you just see the fighters, not the cage. We’ve introduced fan social voting. You see after each round how global social media is voting the winner of this round. So if you haven’t seen this TV product, you’ve got to check it out. You haven’t seen anything like it in MMA or combat sports.”
2021 PFL 3: Make your predictions for Fabricio Werdum, Kayla Harrison fights
We want your predictions for Friday's 2021 PFL 3 event in Atlantic City, N.J. Our staff picks feature includes the consensus picks from MMA Junkie readers. Simply cast your vote for each bout below, and we'll use the official tallies that are registered by Wednesda y at noon ET (9 a.m. PT). Those MMA Junkie reader consensus picks will be part of the 2021 PFL 3 main card staff predictions we release Thursday ahead of the event. 2021 PFL 3 takes place Friday at Ocean Casino Resort in Atlantic City, N.J. The main card airs on ESPN2 following prelims on ESPN+.
The addition of innovative technology is a huge part of the PFL’s presentation. The company has embraced statistical analysis of MMA at a level not previously seen in the sport. The PFL’s fighting surface is dubbed the SmartCage, and Davis said he believes the promotion provides a real service to its viewers in terms of context – but it also allows a level of wagering options for sports gambling enthusiasts that is truly groundbreaking.
“It all becomes real-time gambling prop bets,” Davis said. “What’s the hardest punch in this round? Will this Kayla fight end in under one minute? Will it be a takedown? We’re introducing kick speed in week four as a prop bet. Never been done before. It’s a series of motion cameras and chips, so everything is about understanding and appreciating, or engagement in real-time prop bets. We’ll be the first-ever in combat sports to have real-time prop bets on a whole host of things. Not just winning and losing, but speed, heart rate, early ending – and you’ll see that with DraftKings starting in week four.
“You’re going to see from PFL lots of ways to engage because remember, 50 percent of fans in MMA are 18-35. We all love to engage in the sports that we’re passionate about, so gambling or betting with your friends in a pool is another way of engaging with the sport.”
Grappling Report: Full teams for Polaris Squads 3 revealed
A rundown of the biggest headlines and news from the world of competitive grappling.Announcements have come thick and fast since then, and now both eight-man teams have been revealed in full. With elite 10th Planet representatives Richie ‘Boogieman’ Martinez, PJ Barch, and Jon ‘Thor’ Blank alongside prodigies like William Tackett and Kade Ruotolo, Team USA is the favorite. It won’t be easy however as Polaris triple champion Ashley Williams and Combat Jiu Jitsu World Champion Tom Halpin are among those looking to stop them.
Will it all work? That remains to be seen. The promotion undoubtedly lost some of the momentum it built in its first two seasons by sitting out in 2020. But Davis thinks the company is quickly picking up steam once again and thinks if viewers will give it a chance, they’ll be rewarded with a unique experience.
“We’re trying to be the most innovating product not just in MMA, but in sports,” Davis said. “How do you give the fans more innovation, more engagement, more transparency, more access? And the fighters work with us to do that, so we can do things you cannot do in basketball, you cannot do in football, and you’ll see them in PFL first.”
To see the full interview with Davis, check out the video below.MORE:
Lorenz Larkin in need of new Bellator 258 opponent; one other bout scrapped .
Bellator 258 has taken a pair of hits with one resulting in a fight cancellation. With out, is in need of a new preliminary card opponent. The promotion is currently seeking a replacement. Additionally, has suffered an injury. Due to travel issues, his originally scheduled opponent, Alan Omer, is also off the card. Two people with knowledge of the changes recently informed MMA Junkie of the changed. The event takes place at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn. The main card airs on Showtime after prelims on MMA Junkie. News of van Steenis’ withdrawal was first reported by Dutch Fight Network.