MMA: Saudi Public Investment Fund buys stake in PFL


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Mixed martial arts promotion Professional Fighters League announced Wednesday that Saudi-backed SRJ Sports Investments has purchased a minority stake in the company, part of a reported nine-figure investment that will see PFL hold some of its biggest events in Saudi Arabia.

As part of the announcement, PFL also revealed that SRJ — started earlier this month by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund — will invest in a regional league, PFL MENA, and that the two will host pay-per-view events called Super Fights in Saudi Arabia beginning in the first quarter of 2024.

“PFL’s mission is to become the global co-leader in MMA with our fighter-first mission and disruptive sport-season format,” PFL founder and chairman Donn Davis said in the news release. “This investment by SRJ continues the monumental growth that PFL has experienced throughout the world, and there is no better partner in global sports than SRJ.”

According to ESPN, the initial investment by SRJ is more than $100 million and that the deal “could be worth substantially more” in the future. Two of the fighters named in PFL’s release whom the league said will fight for the company in 2024 are Francis Ngannou and Jake Paul.

Ngannou left the UFC in January as the reigning heavyweight titleholder. Paul is the YouTuber-star-turned-fighter who has seven wins in eight professional boxing matches and is one of the biggest draws in combat sports. Though PFL made no mention of specifics of either fighter’s 2024 debuts, ESPN reported both will fight on PPV.

While this is the PIF’s first MMA venture, the outfit has increased its presence in global sports in recent years, purchasing Newcastle United of the Premier League in 2021, upending the golf world with the establishment of the LIV Golf tour in 2022 and hosting numerous boxing and WWE events. The company also reportedly tried to buy the Formula 1 racing series earlier this year.

–Field Level Media


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