How PFL is Different from UFC and Other MMA Events [April 2021]

PFL 5 from the Nassau Coliseum in Long Island, NY


How PFL is Different from UFC and other MMA Events

1. Season Format

This league is different from that of any other MMA competition. Instead of matchmakers piecing together a card they think will sell, the league format is a meritocracy featuring a Regular Season, bracket-style Playoff and $6 million Championship event.. 

Starting on Friday, April 23, each fighter competes twice during the Regular Season, over six fight nights. 

The four fighters who accumulate the most points in each of the six divisions advance to the Playoffs.

The Playoffs are single elimination with No. 1 seed facing No.4 and No. 2 facing No. 3; these fights will be three rounds each.

It culminates with six title fights in one night, one for each weight division at the PFL World Championship.

2. Scoring

Because players are vying to compete in the Playoffs, it isn’t just about winning the fight. During each round fighters score points for winning, knock-outs and submissions as well as time to victory.

A victory results in three points, a tie one point with bonuses added for knockouts and submissions. The winner will also receive bonus points depending on when the fight is stopped:

  • Round 1 Stoppage: 3 bonus points
  • Round 2 Stoppage: 2 bonus points
  • Round 3 Stoppage: 1 bonus point

3. The Fighting is Different

Because the point system incentivizes stoppages, finishes are rewarded. “If you watch our fights you’ll see a lot of real-time information built right into the scoring system, and that’s modifying behavior,” said Leonsis, one of the League’s major owners. There is evidence that Leonsis’ claim is right and that the fighting is different to other MMA events. In the first season of PFL, stoppages occurred at a rate of 65 percent, a rate of consistency that is unheard of in combat sports.

4. Fighter Performance Rating (FPR)

With the aim of being able to better quantify just how effective an individual fighter was in a round, the PFL has built a data collection behemoth and is creating the standard in MMA for measuring fighter performance with next-gen statistics..

FPR incorporates new advanced statistics created by the PFL that measure the impact of a fighter’s actions in the cage through a proprietary formula to determine an FPR score for each fighter on a scale of 0 to 100 in each round. FPR was designed based on MMA judging criteria and is the most accurate indicator of who won each fight.  

5. The Prize Money

The million dollar champions check is among the richest paydays in MMA with 6 PFL fighters guaranteed to become millionaires each year. Prior to PFL’s launch, only 9 fighters have been guaranteed $1 million in the 25+ year history of MMA. .

The payment based on advancement in the tournament means the emphasis is on performance in the cage versus star power of an individual fighter, making a strong case for PFL being the most meritocratic MMA league in the world.

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by Insider Envy Staff

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